Friday, March 29, 2013

God, Gays And Me

I’ve mostly kept my mouth shut over the recent hoopla about a couple gay marriage issues going to the Supreme Court. I HAVE been clicking “like” and “share” on SOME pro-traditional marriage posts on Facebook, and I’ve been deleting any posts with the red pro-gay symbol, since I figure MY page is MY page and should reflect MY feelings. Still, I’m not a hater of gays, despite holding the biblical view on the issue. In fact, as I’ve mentioned on Facebook, I have two gay first cousins that I get along with fine. They know where I stand, but also know that I won’t verbally or physically abuse them for their sins, so and we simply stay off the subject when we’re together.

I don’t have a problem with people doing as they choose in their private lives. We all have to answer to God for our sins, and I’ve got plenty of my own. However, many modern homosexuals choose to make their lives anything BUT private. A lot of them are down-right “in your face” about it. What they want, among other things, is a free pass on personal responsibility and decency. I don’t approve of heterosexual couples French-kissing in the middle of the mall, why should I support gays doing the same? It’s not a matter of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” it’s a matter of “don’t flaunt.” Neither do I support half-naked heterosexual men or women riding floats or marching in support of some cause. So, why should I feel positively influenced by gays doing the same thing?

There are high-class gays and low-class gays, the same as there are high-class straights and low-class straights. Unfortunately for gays, the low-class side of the gay community seems to have taken the lead in pushing their cause. It is often the methodology of those folks that offends straights far more than the message. Straight or gay, trash is trash. Any straights that lead somewhat protected lives will understandably tend to assume that ALL gays are that revolting after seeing what they do on TV.

As I said earlier, I hold the biblical view on homosexuality, and the Bible calls such a lifestyle an “abomination,” punishable by death. Lest any anti-gay zealot feel justified in hating gays and mistreating them, remember, too, that adultery, murder and working on the Sabbath were also punishable by death! The simple fact is that God loves each person on Earth, and Jesus died for each person on Earth. BUT, we have to admit our sins to benefit from God’s love and Jesus’ sacrificial death. As for us mere mortals, Jesus told us to treat others the way that WE want treated; gays and straights both would do well to remember THAT!

The biblical conflict comes when we expect gays to ADMIT that their behavior is sinful. Most adulterers, murderers, rapists, thieves and so on will admit at some time and on some level that their behavior is wrong. Yet many gays insist that they can be “good Christians” while maintaining their gay lifestyle. There’s reputed to be a “gay church” in our state’s capitol that boasts 2,000 members. That makes as much sense as a murder or adulterer saying that they can continue killing or cheating and still be a good member of God’s Kingdom. Everyone would see through that in a heartbeat, yet most gays feel exempt from changing their ways. We are told by Jesus to “repent” of our sins, and that means to turn away from them. None of us manage to do it completely, but we have to at least confess and TRY to change, or we’re simply lying to God and to ourselves. God knows better than to believe such people; sometimes, we apparently do not.

We can SAY that a gay couple is married, but we’re lying if we do, since God is the only one that can rightfully say that, and He’s chosen otherwise. Christians are doing gays no favors by telling them that “it’s okay to be gay.” In doing so, we are greasing the skids to Hell for them. Gays CAN be forgiven, though, thank God (literally). Otherwise, the rest of us would have no hope, either. © 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Praying For My Right Mind

A lady that I used to know from church once told about an old man in the church where she was raised. Whenever he prayed, he always included a request that the Lord always allow him to possess his right mind. She said that as a kid, she thought that was silly, but as she grew old herself, she understood all too well why the old fellow asked for that favor.

Nearly every time that I pray, I ask the Lord that I never lose my senses to the point that I forget what Jesus did for me, or take it for granted. Sometimes, I ask him that I be allowed to “live ‘til I die.” He knows that I mean that I want to maintain enough health that I never have to be bedfast and a burden on anyone. My father was blessed to pass quickly from a heart-attack at age 59. My mother-in-law spent the last 10 of her 95 years slightly brain damaged by a stroke, weak physically, and doped up by the nursing home so she wouldn’t get emotional when she was about herself enough to understand her circumstances. That’s not living.

This evening, I read of a man visiting an elderly friend in a nursing home. Before the old gentleman would eat, he’d first offer some of his meager fare to his younger brain-damaged companion in the room, and the angry old woman who was sharing the TV with them. I recalled one of my old pastors telling of his dear, sweet mother turning into a foul-mouthed hell-raiser in the nursing home after her stroke. I also remembered my own struggle with my temper over the years. I hope that if I ever have to be condemned to a home to await my death, that I will be nice to the workers and fellow patients, and not someone that they dread to be around.

One of my former coworkers is a sweet little girl that I almost wish that I could adopt as my daughter, despite the piercings and the pink hair that she used to wear. She now works as a nurse’s aide or something in a nursing home. Some days, a few of the old people there are so mean that she leaves in tears. She realizes that some of them can’t help it. She says though, that some of them know better, since they only act that way with the workers, but act really sweet with the manager. I hope that I never have to be in such a place. I hope that I can live ‘til I die. And I hope and pray that I always have my right mind. I pray the same for you. © 2013

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Thinking Native With Permaculture

Permaculture means various things to various people. To me, it means using perennial plants, shrubs and trees to provide your food. I suppose livestock can fit in there, too, if you’re careful, and don’t wish to limit yourself to native animals.

That being said, it would seem logical to use as many species as possible that are native to your area. After all, they’ve grown as volunteers for thousands of years, so they’re certainly acclimated to that region. In my mind, there’s another reason of growing importance to “go native.” Honeybees in this country are suffering huge down-turns in population. Disease, parasites, cell phones and insecticides are all being blamed, and probably with good reason. Hard winters can make matters worse.

Luckily, native species don’t require honeybees, since they developed without their help. Though many folks don’t realize it, honeybees emigrated from Europe, along with the white man. In fact, there are mentions of American natives calling them “white man’s flies.” Bee and bug populations are quite varied and a surprising number are pollinators. Just for the record, there IS a native species of bee (Mason Bees) that can pollinate the same range of blossoms as honey bees, and some folks are inviting them into their gardens with ready-made bee condos. If you aren’t handy, you can even buy the bees and bee condos.

A great variety of common garden plants don’t need honey bees anyway. Squash, pumpkins, gourds, corn, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes all come to mind. If you didn’t notice, those are all plants native to the Americas, and there are probably dozens or even hundreds of others that would lend themselves to simple cultivation. Combined with native trees and shrubs that produce fruit and nuts, I believe a person could eat quite well without honeybees. All things considered, I believe more effort should be put into native species for that reason.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to disparage anyone from having honeybees; I used to keep bees myself, and may again someday. I really enjoyed them and still LOVE honey. However, just to play it safe, I’m starting to accumulate some native plants and shrubs in my yard. I own several acres of woods behind the house that has White oaks, walnuts, hickories and paw-paws mixed through it, so I’m in fair shape already.

Give native permaculture some thought; after all, it worked for the natives. © 2013

Saturday, March 23, 2013

It’s Later Than You Think !

I was raised in a Christian home, but I guess I was a spiritual “late bloomer.” Said differently, I was an early sinner. Still, at age 28, the Truth finally sunk into my thick skull, and I accepted Jesus as my savior. Before that, I’d done some reading on Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Druidism, Native American beliefs, and had even read a bit in the Gita, plus, I’d dabbled around a little with the I Ching. One thing that I noticed was that all of those dealt with how a person could work their own way into whatever peace there was to be with whatever powers that be, OR ELSE everything was sheer dumb luck.

Only Judaism, Christianity and maybe some Native American beliefs dealt with a knowable god of any sort, and Christianity was the ONLY one that dealt with mankind from a position of love. (Again, Judaism and SOME Native American beliefs ALMOST qualify.) It was all about what God had done for us, not what we could do for him. I’d figured out the truth of a statement in the Bible that NO-ONE could ever be good enough, on their own, to be worthy of Heaven. I won’t go through the details, but it soon became obvious to me that Christianity was the only logical way to go. Still, it had to be a heart decision, not just an intellectual one.

Having now been a Christian for 30 years and, having read the Bible by fits and starts for over 50, I look around the world and see a lot of things on the brink of being what was predicted for “the latter days.” Yes, I realize that some folks have thought that they were in the latter days all through the last two millennia. Europeans and Asians certainly had reason to feel that way during WW II. However, since the recreation of Israel as a nation after WW II, many other things have begun taking place that make a knowledgeable person stop and think. Globalism, world-wide gun control, the destruction of personal freedoms, international financial problems and “solutions”—all these things are bringing us closer to the time when dictators or the anti-Christ can assume power. The current president ALREADY has the power to become our dictator LEGALLY, by methods given him by republicans and democrats alike, during his first term.

I’m a firm believer in defending freedom, and I’m a firm believer in trying to prepare for ANY sort of emergency events. Some things though, like war in our own country, cannot ADEQUATELY be prepared for. Such a scenario could result in a great loss of life, even among civilians. So, too, could the rationing of health care, and the instituting of “mark of the beast” type scanning and tracking devices. And then we have the drone issue, with the power to kill being in the hands of one criminally insane official. The bottom line is this: sooner or later people are going to start dying, en masse, from one cause or another, maybe even from “natural” causes like diseases for which there are no cure (due to past overuse of antibiotics).

Get right with Jesus; you may not have much longer. See to it that those you love are right with Him, too. Today is the day and NOW is the moment; you may not be here tomorrow. © 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Nobody Knows Nothin’ No More!

Now that I have your attention with my impressive misuse of negatives, I’ll begin the day’s rant. My loyal readers will know that I frequently lament the near total cluelessness of most young people with my posts. This is just one more case of the same. Now understand, the real fault lies not with the young people, but with their parents and the bulk of their teachers and employers.

The subject comes up today because of my feet sticking to the floor in a local fast-food joint earlier in the day. I will assume that a large cup of sweet tea or soft drink was spilled in the restaurant and that afterwards there was a too-quick mop-up made of the area. I doubt if they knew that it’s best to soak up the bulk of the spill with rags or paper towels so there would be less spill to deal with in the first place. Obviously, not enough water was used to thin out the sugar enough to keep the floor from being sticky when it was mopped (IF it was mopped).

That got me to thinking, though, about the general condition of mops in fast-food joints. If I had a dollar for every time that I’ve seen mop-buckets of dark-grey, greasy water rolled out of restaurant closets to clean up spills, I might not be wealthy, but I could certainly afford take my wife out to a better class of restaurant! Do even the managers not know that you’re supposed to change the water and wash the mop after every heavy (or cumulative) use? I’ve actually seen grease-balls floating on the mop water and smelled rank, soured mops that had, obviously, NEVER been washed out and dried between uses. It’s so bad, that in some places, you can actually see a line down low on the wall where the mop reaches. Everything above that line is relatively clean; everything below is stained grayish-brown. It doesn’t seem to matter what state you’re in, the restaurants are all the same.

Another thing, have you ever noticed that some restaurants have restrooms and lobbies with greasy floors? That means that they not only use the same mop there as in the kitchen, AND VICE VERSA, but do so without ever changing the water and washing the mop! Disgusting! © 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013

Musings Of The Day

Last Sunday, we heard the spring peepers for the first time this year as we drove past the swamp down on the farm where I was raised. Tonight they’re peeping from the hollow behind our house here on the ridge. I heard them when I took the dog out after dark. The group of glowing deer eyes across the road told me that I didn’t need to watch too closely for coyotes with the flashlight.

Our first Easter flowers (daffodils) of the year burst into bloom today. They’d been threatening to bloom for a week, but each day had been a bit cooler than expected, so I guess they were waiting for today’s slight warming to greet the world.

Due to some shuffling around in our family, the wife and I had our six-year-old granddaughter with us today. We enjoyed every minute with her, but she like to wore us out, and the dog besides. Nothing makes you feel older than trying to keep up with a kid! We all lay down in front of the TV for a few minutes and she lay down beside me with her two little arms around my left arm like it was a cuddle-toy. I think we ALL fell asleep for about five minutes, and it did us ALL good. I look at the headlines and listen to the news and see little but evil in the world, and I wonder what her life will be like. I wish she was in church. (Only one of our five MIGHT be, I think, and she’s currently having some problems with the Fifth Commandment.) We don’t see enough of any of them to take them ourselves.

As some of you know, I’ve been sharing some of my old post cards here. I’ve also been sharing them on Facebook.  There are a few history buffs on my friends list, so the cards seem to be getting a little positive attention. I don’t have anyone to pass them on to, unless one of the grandkids develops an interest in history, so it made sense to share them as best I could.
All-in-all, we had a good day. I hope yours was the same. © 2013

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Not Worth The Bother

I guess I could blame it on the grumpiness of old age, but some folks age rather gracefully. Those people develop the patience of Job as they get older, but my wife and I seem to be going the other way when it comes to dealing with other folks. Yet, in most situations, I have the patience of Job myself. I think that as I age, I realize more and more that my time here on Earth is limited, and I don’t want to waste it on unappreciative souls. At least, that’s the excuse on which I’ve decided.

My wife comes from a large family, and the siblings were all close as children. As often happens, though, they drifted apart to some degree as they got older. One sister and one brother turned into know-it-all, liberal, irreligious, rabble-rousers. They don’t speak to each other, and for several years didn’t speak to my wife, either. For the last several years, to her credit, she bit her tongue, over-looked their hateful actions and words and got back on speaking terms with them. The effort was entirely on her part. They haven’t changed a bit during that time, unfortunately.

A couple weeks ago, her sister was launching into one of her telephone rants and my wife simply wasn’t in the mood for it, so she hung up without saying anything further. She commented that if her sister ever wants to talk, then SHE can dial the phone.  She knows that her sister will probably never speak to her again.

Also, recently, we took the brother out to supper. We hadn’t even ordered yet when he heard a remark that my wife made TO ME, and asked a question as to what she meant. My wife wasn’t able to even get the reply to his question completed when he got on his high-horse from taking her unfinished reply the wrong way. Had she been allowed to finish, he would have learned that what she was saying had nothing to do with what he THOUGHT she was saying. She just glossed over the situation and moved on to other subjects, rather than explain herself. Afterward, she told me that she would be avoiding him from now on. Her explanation was that she was too old to spend the rest of her life walking on eggshells, waiting for the next explosion. Likewise with her sister. It’s sad, but I can’t blame her.

A few days ago, on Facebook, a young former co-worker was taking one of her friends to task in front of the world about a site the friend had quoted which she considered to be racist. She also told her “friend” that she was unfriending her. Curious, I went to the site and found it to be largely a spoof of things black people do by doing the same things as a white person, to show the silliness and hypocrisy of some blacks. Granted, I stuck my nose where I probably shouldn’t have, but I told her that she was being rather hard on her friend for simply trying to make a point, regardless of how politically incorrect it might be. The whole reason for the site (and my reply as well) swept by her in both lanes, and she responded by pleading Christianity and “loving your brother.” Another reader suggested that she show a little bit of that love toward her friend. I COULD have asked if her Christianity had any problems with her shacking up with her boyfriend or why she was recently looking for a church that DID NOT preach the divinity of Christ, but I knew that would be way over her head. I had always considered her liberal “open-mindedness” just a sign of being naïve, but the realization came to me that the poor girl was just plain stupid, and as they say, “you can’t fix stupid,” so I shut up. I logged back onto Facebook a few hours later and she was STILL publically giving her former friend a hard time. I figured that was enough stupidity and unfriended her WITHOUT saying anything about it (until now).

Yesterday, I tried commenting on several of the blogs that I follow, only to be stymied on three or four by “word verification.” All were on sites where I and other followers had asked that they consider disabling the function. If the system worked decently, it would STILL be a great inconvenience, but it rarely is legible or works right. So, I quit following them. At least one must have been a follower of my blog, for I very quickly lost a follower myself. Apparently, there was no love lost.

I enjoy the comments that I get from my readers. Sometimes, their comments are more interesting than my posts. I want to make it as easy as possible for folks to comment on my posts. Sadly, I had to give up anonymous comments due to spam. Understandably, that’s the same defense that most of the word verification folks use. Unless you have dozens of comments daily, though, it only takes a few seconds each day to get rid of ALL the spam when you moderate. For most of them, then, I think it’s just plain laziness. Since they are usually the less frequent folks at posting, and rarely or never comment on my posts, it just isn’t worth the bother to me anymore. I guess that you now know why the word “grumping” is included in my blog’s name. © 2013

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Looking Ahead

I got this second-hand in an email. I don't know the original source, but was told it's okay if I pass it on.

For several years now I have seen something creeping into our American society on quiet little cat paws, and it worries me: the creeping gradualism of a false sense of security. What with the general population living in a state of virtual total complacency through the generation of unfounded fears of mass, beyond-the-norm terrorism, and therefore placing their faith into the rhetoric of the government, a police state society is being created in front of their blind eyes. Moreover, those who do see this trend and/or believe in, follow, quote, or support the Constitution of the United States are being singled out as trouble-makers and rabble-rousers, perhaps even terrorists.

One example of these sly governmental manipulations, and what gets my goat, is the obvious hypocrisy of the elected. Rich and powerful people have their own armed bodyguards, top government officials' children are protected by armed guards even while attending secure, private schools, Dianne Feinstein has a California concealed carry permit, Biden extols shotguns, etc. They want to be able to have weapons available to themselves, but not the average citizen. The schools of the average citizen do not have armed guards and are, in fact, declared weapon-free much to the delight of thugs and crazies. And "they" have spread the belief among the masses that the population should be controlled by a fatherly and omniscient government, a government who wisely disarms the vast majority of citizens in the name of safety.

However those who believe in the Constitution, who believe in the Bill of Rights, personal liberty, and patriotism, are beginning to see that the government is becoming destructive and has already, perhaps, become devoid of all morality — and is thus inherently evil.

And I am afraid those two views, that of placid acceptance, and that of subjugation and moral decrepitude, will result in mass violence as an out-of-control federal government attempts to nullify the Bill of Rights and Constitution to seize oligarchial power.

The scenario I see is in the near future there will be some kind of engineered bombing or attack on a building, church, or school where weapons will be used — perhaps even some form of engineered mass infection traced back to some group. And, of course, liberal government-controlled media will then unleash vicious attacks on Constitutionalists and gun owners, branding them as terrorists, or at least enabling terrorism.

If someone disagrees with or opposes the government, psychiatric workups will deem them having mental disorders and place them under court-ordered medication or into institutions for the insane. Ultimately, those who cite their Constitutional rights will be "vanished" in the name of terrorism ala the Patriot Act, their lives relegated to Guantanamo or gulag-type imprisonment.

This, of course, will lead to even more violence as armed citizens begin fighting back against an out-of-control federal government that attempts to seize power and nullify the entire U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights. Active, forceful disarming of the population will begin, unstopped and welcomed by those who believe in government-as-Alfader.

Ultimately, no long-term gun owner will be grandfathered-in; storage of ammunition, firearms and accessories, perhaps even knives and swords and food supplies will be outlawed. Treasonous acts will include "preparedness" of all kinds, and possession of survival gear, bows and arrows, crossbows, even slingshots by private citizens will be criminalized.

But those in high places as well as their troopers will be exempt ...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My Take On The Uncivil War

Sorry folks, but this is a long one.

Almost everybody these days KNOWS that “The War of Southern Rebellion,” known also as “The War of Northern Aggression,” “The War Between The States,” and “The American Civil War,” was all about slavery, and that the South was in the wrong and the North was in the right. Most of those same folks also KNOW that President Obama is an honest and lovable man who wants only the best for the nation. And then there’s the rest of us. We may not agree on everything, but we know that almost nothing is completely one-sided, and that the accepted “truth” is decided by the winning side in any conflict (or election).

While I believe that the people of the Civil War Era were mostly a more genteel people than is the norm today, there has never been a shortage of sin, since the days of Adam. Slavery, despite the first official case in continental America actually having been the result of a court ruling in favor of a black man owning another black man, became an atrocious plague on this nation. Had whites never owned blacks, there would have been none brought to this country against their will. There would not have been a century and a half for whites to manufacture reasons why they were “morally and intellectually superior” to blacks. Therefore, not only would there have been no slavery, there would have been little or no civil rights protests needed to address the century of black grievances FOLLOWING the Civil War. You might say that the race issue of the nation is a case of the “sons” paying for the sins of the “fathers.”

That being said, on the surface, slavery WAS a major cause of the Civil War. However, no history book that I recall seeing during my years of public schooling made any serious attempt to give the reasons below the surface. For one thing, the southern states had managed to keep fairly good control of congress during the nation’s first 50 years or so. Seniority in the Senate tended to favor the South, and by counting blacks as “partial” human beings (despite the fact that they couldn’t vote), they kept a sizable influence in the House of Representatives. Times were changing by the middle 1800’s, though; most immigrants landed in the North and stayed there for factory jobs opening up as part of the continuing Industrial Revolution. Those immigrants were white, and thus counted as “complete” human beings. Thus, the effect was to bring more and more northern influence into the House, while the South was losing ground. Almost NO-ONE willingly gives up power, once they’ve tasted it, so the South was not exactly a bunch of happy campers. On the other hand, once the North had begun to get a taste of power, they lusted after more.

“The LOVE of money is the root of all evil,” says the Good Book, and that love of money is what the Civil War was really about. The South had mostly sold their cotton to England over the years, since New England spinning and weaving was still in its early stages. However, as the North became more industrialized, it wanted to feed its mills with the cotton that was going to England. Unfortunately, it didn’t want to pay as good a price as England was paying. Also, since the English were kind enough to buy its cotton, the South returned the favor by buying much of its necessary goods from England. This infuriated the North, which felt that the South should have been supporting American businesses. However, because they weren’t as efficient as older English companies in production (or maybe just plain greed), the North charged more for their goods than did England. Thus, the South had no incentive for increasing trade with the North.

As the political winds began to shift, though, the North managed to get tariffs put in place, so items purchased from overseas would cost more. They wrongly believed that the South would simply quit buying from England and start dealing with them. Unfortunately for them, they miscalculated the hostility that such an unfair political move would arouse in the South. They also continued to offer low-ball bids on southern cotton and actually RAISED the price of many northern items, thinking it would still be cheaper for the south to pay their unfair prices than to pay the tariff. Between loyalty for their English friends and anger at Northern opportunists, the South continued dealing with England instead of the North. This, of course, gave rise to great self-righteous indignation in the North.

All this while, there were people working against the horrible institution of slavery. And all this while, the North was treating blacks and poor immigrants little better than slaves themselves. They were paid grossly inferior wages and forced to work in miserable, unsafe conditions. Their children sometimes starved to death. Company towns and script pay were coming into use, and laws were passed not allowing a person to leave a community where he owed money. (This actually got much worse AFTER the Civil War, especially in the coal fields.) The only way that blacks and poor people in the North were any better off than slaves is that they couldn’t be bought and sold and SOME could vote. But of course, the North felt SO superior, because THEY didn’t have slavery.

The opening of western lands created new tension, since neither wanted the new states to be adding senators to the opposite side, or to be shifting the balance in the House. An additional bone of contention is that most northerners considered the federal government to be “the boss” of the states. Southerners were (rightfully) of the opinion that the federal government was to be mostly the SERVANT of the states and that its main function was to provide services (like national defense) more easily and efficiently organized on a large scale. Stated more strongly, the North considered us as ONE NATION, with each state a minor part of the whole; the South considered us to be a confederation of MANY NATIONS, as we were under the Articles of Confederation, the predecessor to our constitution. Like it or not, the South was right.

There were some flaming abolitionists in the north (think John Brown) just itching to spill blood to free the slaves, while there were some southerners just itching to give “those damn greedy Yankees” their come-uppance. Many in the south were jealous of the industrial base of the north, while many northern businessmen resented the fact that they had to pay their help, while the south had “free” labor. Most people in the north didn’t personally care about the Negroes; they just considered the institution un-Christian and wanted to free them and send them back to Africa. (Abraham Lincoln and Harriet Beecher Stowe were among those who desired to do so.) Despite his personal distaste for slavery, Lincoln publically stated that he would tolerate it to preserve the union. Intelligent people on both sides eventually felt that war was inevitable, but were determined not to fire the first shot. Unfortunately for the South, they eventually weakened and fired that first shot. That cast them as the villain in many otherwise open minds.

Northern men wouldn’t have been too willing to go to war if they had realized it was more a war about money than anything else. So, in the north, the abolition of slavery was pushed as the main goal, with the “preservation of the union” as a secondary goal. In the south, it was “state’s rights” and the preservation of their way of life (which required slavery). Apparently, such causes were adequate to convince thousands of American men of the nobility of fighting and dying. It was a sad and shameful chapter in our history, and the whole truth of the war and its causes will never be known, but there was more than enough blame and shame to go around.

Just for the record, I used to read a lot about the major players of that war and I came to the conclusion that Lincoln was the second greatest man of the era, despite being the politician that he was. I don’t mean that as a put-down, but as an honor, for he had some stiff competition. After reading a great deal of his personal correspondence, I vote for Robert E. Lee as the greatest man of the conflict, and perhaps for all before and after. That’s just my opinion, of course, but I’m sticking with it. © 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013

It's Comin'


It didn't FEEL like spring as I took the dog out into the predawn this morning. A heavy frost was on the vehicles, while stray shadows of snow lay on the leeward side of everything from some mood-change of the weather in the night. At the far end of the porch, the “Easter flowers” were six inches tall and starting to bud. The light was such that I’d slipped on my jeans, knowing that it was too light to sneak out in my skivvies, like I’ve been doing all winter. I wouldn’t want to give the kids on the school bus a peep-show. Despite it only being the first day of March, a gobbler on the next ridge was sounding off so much that the dog had difficulty concentrating on her task. I didn’t realize that turkeys had calendars! It ain’t quite here yet, folks; but it’s comin.’ © 2013