A Wonderful Life

I’ve been thinking that I would like to take this blog a slightly different direction, and I think it’ll be in a way you won’t even realize it unless you go back, and read from the first blog up to now. I don’t know some may notice it. Time will tell.

I accepted a job offer the other day. I’ll be selling used cars online so it’ll be interesting to see how deals unfold in this manner. I love selling cars, and just overall being in the car business. Don’t get me wrong there are some dealerships out there that aren’t quality at all! I try, and avoid those. Anyway this is something I think I’ll enjoy.

I want to say something here that I hope my male readers take deeply to heart. For as long as I could remember I prayed that someday God would give me a beautiful wife, that was the most amazing woman I would ever know. True story right there. Then again everything I write is true, and everything I speak is true so it would have to be a true story. I did this literally my entire life. Then you know how you meet someone, and they give you the funny feels? Well sometimes some of us act a little too soon on those feels, and all throughout my life I was one of those people!

I was what some of my friends called a serial monogamist, because I wasn’t really a one night stand or a fling kinda guy! I’ve always been one that commits, but I’ve also been the one they didn’t want to commit to! These women would always tell me how wonderful I was, and how much they loved me, but at the end of the day there was always going to be them leaving. I got so used to it that I could almost time it as to how long we would last.

This went on until almost a year ago. I had gone from one relationship with someone who couldn’t commit, and immediately (like two days later) had someone else. Anyway this person I ended up with wasn’t someone I needed in my life, and I quickly ended that very short lived situation. Then sometime in mid August I got a call from a dearly loved friend that was a Hospice Director telling me it was time to come home that dad didn’t have long. So I packed a suitcase, and drove back to Pampa, and stayed at Mom’s, and Dad’s.

I was playing around with Facebook Dating at the time, and I really wasn’t looking for a relationship. I only wanted a hookup, and that’s what I was going to get. Now I realize I look like a dick from hell by trying to hook up while my dad is dying. Go read my first blog, and you’ll get why. Anyway I let this woman on there that was….. well all I can say that would be even remotely close to justice being done is that this woman was the heavenly type of beautiful. I was kind of shocked to see her on there, but I figured “Hey! Who knows what’s up?!”. So I reached out to her.

We talked for a few days, and we really hit it off. I was really shocked that it took so very little to actually connect with someone on a level I’d yet to experience! I was talking to a beautiful, intelligent, and honestly quite sexy woman that was really enjoying talking to me. So as the few days washed through I became increasingly stressed with trying to keep my family from falling to pieces. It was a shit show, and I had just about had it.

I expressed my frustration to her, and she invited me over for peach cobbler, and ice cream. I know some of y’all are thinking that was code for sex, but it wasn’t. In fact I was too stressed to show up at her house, and try to have any semblance of a good time on any level. I felt bad for it too, and even told myself I needed to make it up to her. The next day produced even more stressors, and at that point in the evening I’d had all I was putting up with. I messaged her asking if the offer was still good.

She responded with a yes, and we began laying the groundwork for what would unknowingly at the time be our first date. Now it was much later when I made my way over there, but she also knew that was going to be the case. So I pull up to her house FINALLY after combing the neighborhood at least twice. Finally I swallowed my pride, and asked her to give me a signal. So she stepped out, and I found her of course.

What transpired that night was us watching Bohemian Rhapsody, and talking about things that had been going on in our lives. We spent very little time talking about the current circumstances surrounding my father. I was actually glad for that. We ended up spending the entire night sitting up, talking, and enjoying some adult, intellectual conversation. I didn’t stay the night that night, but came close to it.

It actually took a bit for that to happen. The next day she came over, and brought food that she had cooked so my family wouldn’t have to. I was honestly kind of floored man! I was just like “WHOA! What the hell kind of smooth play is this?! Girls don’t do that unless they want something real. Anyway I just kind of tucked it away for future reference. I knew I’d probably need it.

I wasn’t wrong because we spent that afternoon, and evening together, she’d met my family, and they her. I was truly blown out of my seat the next day when she showed up again with more food! There was still plenty from the previous day! Yet here she’s gone, and bought at $75 meal for my family. That spoke volumes to me! I mean for real who does that?! This woman knew me all of two days, and was taking care of my family as if it were her own.

I sat back watching her, and taking note. I was in awe of this woman. I knew I liked what I’d seen so far, and I was well more than interested, and it seemed she was too. That night was our first night spent together, and all I can describe that next morning as is a scene right out of a movie, but only in my head. It was in the way the sun shon on her face, and the way she seemed so peaceful in her sleep. In that moment something in me knew I’d definitely met my match.

A few weeks down the road it was time. The entire family had gathered at mom’s, and dad’s place. Dad had been in a hospital bed in the den this whole time. It was very unnerving. Meagan stayed by my side though. She knew I’d had enough of everything, and I was spread too thin. Once all was said, done, dad had been cremated, and might I add that Alana at Winegart Funeral Home did a fantastic job in handling everything! She literally handled every request the family had with the utmost respect, and honor to our family. I was blessed enough to have her husband later become one of my Masonic Brothers who conducted my imitation!

I mean she went with us to the funeral home, and everything, and the moment I came out of the den when dad took his final breath, and I read him the 23rd Psalm there she was standing there patiently waiting for me. She wrapped her arms around me, and the rest of the family pouring her love out on us. I couldn’t believe this woman! Oh my God everything I’ve ever dreamed of in a woman, and she’s right here in front of me! I knew right then that I was done for! I knew my crazy hay days were over, I knew that the single life was most definitely gone for good, and that I had finally met my one!

A few nights later we were laying in bed, and had been just talking, and hanging out. She grew quiet, and was looking at the ceiling. I knew this look all too well. It was the thousand mile stare, and people get it when they’re about to do something life changing, illegal for the first time, or they’re about to leave the person they’re with. That’s how it’s always worked for me anyway. I began preparing myself mentally for it. I knew something had to be wrong, and maybe even though it all seemed great maybe she just couldn’t stand up to the task of being with me.

I get it! I’m hard to handle, easy to love, and difficult to deal with sometimes. So I figured at this point that’s where she was. Maybe she just figured that it wasn’t for her, but either way I was certain I’d met my doom at this point, and I was ready for it. This was going to suck because I had such high hopes for us too. Oh well back to the drawing board! I rolled over, and asked what was wrong, and in typical fashion she told me it was nothing. Okay let’s stop there!

I’m not the “it’s nothing” kinda guy. I can say it all day long, but don’t you dare say it to me when I know better! I’m the master at hiding, and I can tell when someone else is, or in this case trying! I simply told her she could tell me anything, and then she started crying. I knew it…it was over..I was done for! I sat up a little, and kept at her to tell me what was wrong. Hell at this point I’m starting to wonder if I said, or did something to hurt her feelings! Finally she explained it to me. I took in a deep breath waiting for this one.

She began telling me everything. She told me how in love with me she was, and how much I meant to her. I was completely floored at this point because I wasn’t expecting that! She went on to talk about wanting a future with me, and I asked her what that looked like to her. I asked her what she wanted. She out, and told me she wanted to get married someday, and spend the rest of our lives together. I knew this was too good to be true! There was no way this insanely gorgeous woman who was so perfectly perfect was this into me! Like she truly was in love with me! How could that be? How could she love me? I’m an ugly mess was all I could think, and maybe just maybe she was mostly blind, and just got around really well! Hell I don’t know!

All I knew was if I didn’t make this woman my wife I’d be a damned fool! I wasn’t about to take the risk of losing this woman! So on September 12th 2020 we went to Amarillo, and went to the mall. I walked into Zales, and met with the sales rep there, and explained to her exactly how I saw Meagan. She took me over to a particular counter where she showed me the ring. I knew the instant I saw this ring that no other ring would do. I could’ve spent $10,000.00 on a ring that was huge, and covered in diamonds, but that wouldn’t be representative to her.

This ring had a sterling silver band, and was very petite with simple diamonds in it. I wanted to give it to her right then, and there, but I knew I couldn’t. I knew it would have to be sized, but I wanted her to see it at least first. That was going to be the big part was waiting for it to come back. I bought the insurance on it, and watched as the lady boxed it up for me. That ring stayed put up until that night. Trust me it wasn’t easy getting this ring either. I had two kids with me, and neither of them knew of my plans! However despite the fact that I kept telling them to go hang out at the store they wanted to go to they wouldn’t leave the Zales.

So in order to get this done it took me basically paying these little turkeys to buzz off for a minute so I could get this done without blowing the surprise! I was so damned nervous! All I could keep thinking was “What if she says no?! I’ll probably just crawl in a hole, and slowly die an anguishing death!”. Oh well what was done was now done, and either she was going to say yes, or I was going to die a slow agonizing death. You have no idea unless you’ve done it how hard it was keeping my mouth shut on the way home, but she already knew. She just wasn’t saying anything.

That night at my request we took to the girls to the house, and left to get out for a little bit. I took her down to Central Park in Pampa Texas, and enjoyed a quiet walk on the bridge. We walked down to the second bridge when she noticed a pull up bar. She ran over to it, and began twirling herself around it. I laughed as she spun around, and as she did I walked back to the second bridge where the tree grows, and I patiently waited for her.

She came back a minute later, and I took the opportunity to make my request known to her heart. I asked, she said yes, she cried, I cried, and we took the ring back to Zales to send off for sizing. A few days later we set the date for March 27th 2021. It was during that time I decided I wanted to become a Freemason. I expressed my interest to the local lodge, and at the new year I was voted on, and accepted. I was initiated on January 21st 2021, and honestly I think it’s more similar to a baptism, or a rite to manhood that a family might do to welcome a boy into becoming a man. It was truly a very brotherly love type of experience!

Our Worshipful Master just so happened to own a ranch with a big party barn that he is known to rent out from time to time, and so I asked if we could use it for the wedding, and reception to which he said yes, and quoted me the price. We moved into a new house during the meantime, and I was back selling cars again. I truly never thought I would because I felt there just wasn’t enough business where we live to make a living doing it, but I was wrong! Anywho we were married March 27th 2021 right on cue, and I promise you now I was a wreck that day!

We had agreed that we would spend the night before the wedding apart, and not see one another the next day, and we held true to that. I can’t say we remained abstinent during that time, but hey when you love each other that will happen! The next day no one was safe from my snappiness! My poor bride to be even suffered at my voice. Most people would think “Why would the groom be nervous like that?!”. Well for one I was afraid she might get cold feet at the last minute. Also I had a shitty hotel in Pampa Texas mishandling our entire reservation, and pretending they didn’t care how screwed up they made things. Not to mention having to direct everyone, and having people that really shouldn’t have been making certain comments towards me at the time doing just that. So yeah I was pissy.

Also trying to direct all the services that we employed, and trying to make sure I was ready in time along with all the groomsmen, and guests. Once we arrived at the ranch my nerves only got worse. Thank God my wife called my best friend Alfonso, and had him come equipped with some Peach Crowne Royal! He helped keep somewhat sane until I could be back around her. She truly keeps me grounded. She’s usually the only person who can! She probably knows me better than I know myself!

Finally everyone was in place, and it was time for the ceremony! Oh man was my heart pounding. My palms were sweating, I was sweating, I was shaking, and damn near to the point of crying. An old buddy from high school did our DJ booth, and he made me promise I wouldn’t cry because if he saw me crying he was going to cry! Then of course I have my hand of miscreant best men goofing around behind me! You can’t help but laugh, yet at the same time I waited with baited breath for those barn doors to swing open at their cue. As our song played my boy David opened the doors, and there stood the most amazing, beautiful, smart, intelligent, and ridiculously gorgeous woman I’d ever laid eyes on. This time she was dressed in all white, and smiles!

It was in that moment it took everything I had to keep from crying! I had to choke it back! I couldn’t let all these people most of which I didn’t know see me crying! God forbid I show some humanity! People might think I’m actually not as tough as I make out! Then again I don’t like showing vulnerability. Either way we had an amazing wedding, and then took off the next day for Oklahoma City for our honeymoon! We had so much fun, and it felt like I was a kid again! I loved every single minute of our time!

Here we are nearly four months later, and everyday I can’t help, but think “Damn I married my number one best friend, my soulmate, the one woman who stays by my side no matter how much of a pain in the ass I am!”. I mean if you really think about it that’s mostly what marriage is! It’s two people who love each other so much that they’ll walk through fire for each other!

To all you men out there who keep being assholes to women shame on you! Yes we will all be assholes towards one another at multiple points! Marriages, relationships none of them are perfect, and by God if you don’t disagree, argue, or get upset with us be another especially over some trivial matters then I can promise you it won’t last! Why? Because these things are actually healthy! They allow one another to see that the other is not perfect, they are human, and you’re going to see them at their worst sometimes!

No that doesn’t give you some right to knock around on your woman, or manipulate her emotions, or thoughts. It doesn’t give you the right to play stupid childish games with her, and it doesn’t give you the right to put her down, and make her cry. Yes she will cry, and so will you if there’s anything to you! You’ll both say, and probably do some things the other can’t stand, and that’s okay too! GET OVER IT!

You didn’t come into your relationship or marriage just by stumbling into so DON’T treat it that way! Nurture it, and take care of it! Put your ego down men! I promise you showing some sensitivity won’t kill you. It won’t kill you to hold her hand, show her affection, or show her off to the world! There’s nothing I love more than introducing my wife to people I know because it’s like I get to say to them “Look at this beauty I married! Man not only is she incredibly gorgeous, but she is the most loving, and tender person I know!”. It irritates her sometimes, but I’m willing to irritate her a little if it means I get to brag about her!

All in all guys treat your woman like she’s the most precious gift in your life! Yes she will irritate you, and you will her. That’s part of it! Tell her you love her, and appreciate her! Tell her what she means to you, and if you can’t say it with words then show her! In fact show her anyway! Trust me the right woman will appreciate you!

Now to my beautiful wife who is right now reading this last section. I love you so much. My heart literally beats for you! You are the first person I see every day, and the last one I see before I go to sleep. You are my world, and you have given me the most wonderful life a man could ever ask for! You’ve helped me overcome insecurities, you’ve helped me keep my sanity when I thought it would break! You’ve been the most loyal, and forgiving person I know! No ma’am our life isn’t “perfect”. We don’t have millions in the bank, and a big house or fancy cars, but what matters to me is I have you, and our kids! There’s never a moment when I don’t know you came to me by God’s own plan for us, and I can’t thank Him enough for giving you to me! Thank you for being an amazing wife, and mother to our kids, and taking care of us! I love you now, just as I loved you then, and just as I will love you when we’re old, and gray! Thank you for being the woman you are, and most of all thank you for making me the happiest man of them all! I can’t tell you enough how much I love you, and how truly wonderful you are! You put up with things I know can be hard like crazy work schedules, and when I’m having a hard time. You stick by me, and help me even if it’s just laying next to me when I don’t feel good, and holding my hand! You’re truly the woman of my dreams! I love you!

Thanks for reading this in it’s entirety if you did, and if you didn’t you missed out! Until next time take care, and God Bless!

A Day In The Life Of A Hunter

I watch a lot of Steve Rinella on Netflix. If you don’t know who that is I highly suggest looking up Meet Eater. It’s a great hunter’s education tool if you pay attention! In other words I really like the guy, and what he’s doing! Seriously great guy; would love to meet him someday! When I watch my show I can’t help, but want to kick myself for not taking the gun my uncle tried giving me. It was a custom Remington 783 bolt action with a Vortex 3-9×40 scope. It wasn’t so much “custom” as it was that he had it dipped in a beautiful Texas Flag in camo! Now how Texan can you be?!

I wanted that rifle so bad that I would always pull it out, and examine it for several minutes at a time just admiring the craftsmanship that went into the design of the pattern. As luck would have it he technically did give it to me, well literally anyway. He handed it to me one day when I was going to carry off my Savage Mark II with my unknown name brand scope which was a 3-9X40. A little too much scope for too little gun if you ask me, but I have a thing for distance shooting. Now don’t go trying to hold my TDCJ scores against me because they use reloads which isn’t a very good idea in my opinion because they’re reloaded multiple times over, and over again for each new class to save the state money. No one using their rounds is going to have a great score on the range unless you’re aiming somewhere above, below, or to the sides of your intended mark.

All in all I was one excited dude! I called up my buddy on my terrible little candy bar phone, that got horrible reception at best, and much to my surprise he answered right off! I told him what was going on, and to hurry up so we could go on our hunting trip. It wasn’t really so much of a “trip” as it was we were going a few miles out onto some of my uncle’s land to hunt white tails! Within an hour we were out on the lease, and had found a great spot to setup camp. Now anybody that knows me knows I’m not sleeping on the ground so having an air bed was vital, and I absolutely had mine! We spent that evening, and night sitting out by a small campfire I’d built while Doug threw down some bacon in a cast iron skillet.

I’ve used cast iron ever since that night for the simple reason I love how it cooks in a campfire, or stove top, and for that matter even in a grill or smoker! We sat drinking TX bourbon, and eating bacon as we shared stories about things we wanted to do later in life. The next morning the hunt was on at day break. As soon as first light was out so were we, and it wasn’t too long after that we’d spotted a decent sized adolescent buck making his way through some of the mesquite brush foraging for food. I had every opportunity in the moment to take him, but to me it was too easy of a kill. All I’d have to do is literally aim, and shoot. We’d planned on staking out near some trees a few miles down the road, and back in some of the bush we’d tagged the night before with an orange ribbon.

It was a crisp mid November morning with a foggy drizzle in the air, and oddly enough for me that made me happy. You see I don’t do extreme elements such as extreme heat, or extreme cold. If either of those are in play I’m inside guaranteed! We got settled in where we wanted to be, and hunkered down against the trees. With my back resting up against the tree I began scanning the foreground to see if I could spot any deer. We’d seen plenty of signs along the way indicating a small herd had been in the area fairly frequently. I knew in my gut it was just a matter of time before I’d spot my deer, and then I’d take him down.

I knew this wasn’t going to be easy, waiting to see if the buck we’d spotted a few miles back would actually show. It was getting frustrating as I kept calling, and putting out attractant. In fact I was getting nervous that the day may not produce any results. This was my one chance this season to get my kill, and I wasn’t going to take this beating laying down. As Doug, and I kept sharing stories of our lives, and our outlooks for the future I heard the sweet sound of a buck rutting, and admittedly I was pretty damned excited because for one I’d never seen one rutting before, and with him being close by, I knew I had a pretty good chance at seeing it for the first time! That may sound corny to some, but bear in mind I didn’t start hunting deer until I was 27.

As Doug, I made our way down the path the sound of rutting got louder, and louder. Finally we got a lot quieter, and began listening using only hand signs if we heard, or saw something. Just then there he was, about 30 yards out, and I was in peak position to take my buck. At first glance I took him for about 10 points. It wasn’t until a few moments later I got a glimpse of 10 points on his head. That’s no kind of record, but deer that big on that particular lease is pretty rare. Usually 8 points is the highest number right there for some unknown reason.

In that very moment as I quietly chambered my round I took in a deep breath, and let it out a few times. I was really nervous at this point because he appeared to be coming to a stop on his rut, and I was afraid he might catch my scent, and it’d be over. If there’s one thing I hate it’s losing, and I wasn’t about to let a deer get the better of me today.

I sat down against a tree that gave me a pretty good vantage point on him. As I shouldered my gun I couldn’t help, but thank this guy for what he was about to do, and what he had already done, and that was put meet in my freezer, and he’d allowed me to see him in the rut which was a first for me!

Just then he looks directly at me, and I’m certain I’m done for, and he’s about to run. Instead he turned directly where I wanted him his side facing me. In the split second my finger pulled the trigger, and the bullet left the chamber I had no doubts this deer was mine! BAM! It was a shot right to the heart! He went down right after a quick high jump. Doug ran up on me giving me a congratulatory high five as we walked down to where this beautiful buck was waiting.

As I stood in awe of my kill I told Doug he was my first buck over 8 points, and to me that was exciting. As we made our way back to the camp I began wishing we would have taken a Gator with us so we could at least have a ride back, but a noise like that could easily scare off any other deer that were still around even after that gunshot. Still I was damn proud of myself, and tonight we would feast!

Back at the camp we butchered the buck, and hung the bags in the trees mostly because we don’t any wild hogs that may roam up. Their time was coming, but not just yet. After a short break to regroup our thoughts we decided to scout ahead, and go back out at sunrise again. This time Doug would be going for his. At sunrise I decided it would be a good opportunity to do some bow hunting so I reached into the truck, grabbed my bow, and rack, and we took off once again on foot after having done some scouting the night before when we had spotted what very well could’ve been the herd we’d been tracking. Being a mile away from the camp I figured this would be our last day out, and with me planning on taking a hog that day I decided I would do the walk back to get the truck, return to camp, do some cooking, and head back the next day at sun up.

As Doug took himself a nice 10 pointer, I took on a hog that ended up weighing in at 83 pounds, and I have to tell ya if you think I was nervous over shooting the buck, imagine my heart rate when I saw this bore hanging out with four others. Granted I knew the minute my arrow hit him they would most likely scatter, but in the meantime I had to contend with the fact they could easily detect me, and make a mad dash for me. That would’ve been rather unpleasant! However that didn’t happen, and that night back at camp we found ourselves chowing down on some super tender deer steaks, and a few slices of pork butt.

The next morning it was time to break down, and head back home. After a quick spot of coffee, and breaking down the camp we made our way back. Overall I ended up giving away well over half of the meat I’d taken home, and I was still plenty satisfied with my haul, especially after it all came back from processing! Most hunters have a friend or a friend of a friend who either owes you, or then a favor, and that favor usually works out well during season when you need some work done! Now that story doesn’t begin to compare to the story of the time we took two of my nephews on a dove hunt, and the laughable events that followed, but that’s another story for another time.

Now a lot of people that “know” me still don’t know that I actually enjoy being a sportsman, and didn’t even know I knew anything about guns on any level, but I just so happen to be enough of a sportsman, and gun enthusiast that I get by without anyone babysitting me. In fact I can probably think of about five people that if they actually read this they’d probably end up arguing some part of my story thinking they know me, but the truth is they don’t, and I’m okay with that. I love that people think they know me just because they knew me at one time, or they know my social media presence.

If you ever find yourself down around the red river area especially down around Wichita County then find you someone with some land they’ll let you hunt on, and you’ll find an abundance of white tail, mule deer, turkey, hog, tons of great fish, coyotes if varmint hunting is your thing. Not to fail to mention you’ll get to see some beautiful scenery as the landscape starts a small transition into the deep woods of North Texas that ends up becoming the gorgeous Piney Woods of East Texas where there’s definitely some great hunting.

Until next time everybody God bless, and take care!

Dog Days Of Summer

July 3rd through August 11th. If you’re familiar with any place where there is an actual summer, then you’re no stranger to the dog days of summer. A phrase that means those dates are the hottest, and most sultry days of the summer. In fact at one time there were quite a bit of theories about this month, and eight day period. Most of those theories pertain to what the heat does to people, and animals. It was believed it could even make dogs mad! Well I for one believe it! Have you stepped outside today?!

We spent the last five days with my in laws. I always enjoy our time with them. My mother in law happens to be an excellent cook, and my father in law can regale one with his numerous stories, historical facts, political conversations, and one cannot forget his side splitting jokes! My wife, and mother in law don’t seem to think he’s all that funny, but I swear to you I cannot whatsoever keep myself from laughing almost every dang time! We even went to hang out with other family on my wife’s side, and had a wonderful time! Then again we always do. Don’t worry I won’t delve into anything off topic this time!

Anywho as I was saying these days can drive just about anyone out of their ever loving mind! Honestly I don’t know how I managed to actually work labor positions in the outside during the summer! Anymore the heat makes me myself batshit crazy! I easily get flustered if say for example I’m working on something, and it becomes increasingly difficult! To top it off I’m stubborn enough I won’t quickly recognize I’m overheating, and need to cool down! No I don’t get violent or anything like that, but my temper does get carried away, and I get crabby, and difficult myself! Ask my wife bless her heart she’s witnessed it. However, she’s the same exact way!

I mean ask yourself who isn’t! I used to live in Galveston Texas. That is one of if not the hottest, and most humid city in Texas! What’s even worse though is it’s a different heat! Oh yes it does exist very much so! It’s a scorching heat, and it will zap you quick, fast, and in a hurry! Have you ever noticed that places like the Panhandle have a different heat than say North Texas around Dallas, and the Red River region? Well it is, and Galveston is most definitely a different heat all it’s own! That has a lot to do with the earth’s distance from the sun in those areas. Now they’re by far from the hottest places on earth, but still get plenty hot, and humid due to the sun focusing it’s energy in those areas since they’re tilted closer to the sun. Anyway that’s all meteorological stuff we’ll avoid for now.

Still the fact remains that depending on where you are at in geospatial terms determines what kind of temps you’re going to face, and the truth of the matter is that the hotter it gets the easier it is for us to….snap! If you don’t believe me pay close attention to your temperament when you do yard work for example. Now some will argue with this, and say they love doing yard work. Great good for you, now please pay attention to what I said. I said for example not a literal since, and just because it’s not literal for you doesn’t mean it isn’t others. For me any length of time spent outside doing anything that requires me to sweat I find most irritating, and makes me boil quickly. It’s awful because it affects everyone around you, and if they don’t know you that well then it could lead them to believing you’re just difficult to deal with. However the reality is your body temperature is too high, and it’s causing you to lose some of your sanity quite literally!

Studies have found that tempers usually flare in hotter conditions because the body is dehydrated, and the temperature has gone too high for the body to handle causing what some say is the brain to shut down certain areas like reasoning, and logic thought process. So that in itself provides somewhat of an explanation as to why we get so short fused this time of year! So how do we combat that? It’s easy folks all you gotta do is first of all check your local forecast. If it’s going to be above 80 degrees Fahrenheit then count on it being hot! If it’s hot then you know you need to have plenty of water on you! Cold or ice water is fine, but not at first because if you’re too hot it can cause parts of your body to go into shock. Now I’m not saying it can kill you. There’s an argument for another time. I’m sure it could under the right conditions, but that’s not where I’m at.

On top of water keep some cold wet rags with you! Even one of those nifty little cooling tubes you can put on your neck. Anyway you go about staying cooled off during these hot, and humid days just make sure you do just that! Heat stroke is a real thing, as is heat exhaustion, and dehydration. All of which can, and will kill you if you’re not careful. All in all enjoy your summer, and be safe!

Until next time; take care, and God bless!

Taking Breaks Is Vital!

Back years ago when Facebook was something only select college students knew about we were using MySpace. Wasn’t that fun? You could customize your own background to just about whatever you wanted! I had friends that have had skimp y clad women, barely clad men, baseball, basketball, football or any other sports team for that matter as backgrounds! People had sports cars, luxury cars I mean you name it you could most likely use it as a background image, and there was no end to how many times in a day you could change it! You could even add background music, and little mblog like posts. Sure mmFacebook lets you share music videos, pictures, videos etc, but am I the only one noticing what has happened here?

I think not! My wife pointed out to me somet lol hing yesterday (and other times as well). She pointed out that I spend a lot of time commenting on other people’s posts, and talking to other people. OI checked my screen time and thought I was king of the world for a second! I had an average of 3 hours a day screen time. Well mthat was all good, and fine until she pointed out that it was Sunday, and the timer had reset. So for that day I had already given 3 hours of my time to social media. The week prior I spent an average of 3 hours a day alone on Facebook. That kinda hit me different for some reason. Here was my gorgeous wife telling me I spend too much time on my phone, and not enough time with my family. Now of course because I’m me, and I always feel like I have to be right pointed out to her she’s been spending a lot of time playing this logic puzzle game. I pointed that out to her, which kind of went the other direction..Go figure right?! I’m starting to think us men just need to surrender to the fact that our women are right nine times out of time, and that one out of ten time that they aren’t they’re still half right! You know it, and I know it!

All in all this last weekend has been pretty great! The kids shot off their fireworks, and we had a little birthday party for our son that turned a year old! I cooked ribs (which turned out horrible), chicken, and baked potatoes while my wife, and mother in law fixed corn on the cob, and we had a nice Fourth of July dinner. My wife, and I had a small argument which is what lead to the social media discussion. Sure she has some insecurities about my time spent on Fb, and rightfully so you could say! I mean it is time I could be spending more of with her, and the kids. So in summary it’s just not fair to my family that I spend an extraordinary amount of time of social media. We can make all the excuses in the world for it such as “No one is wanting to do anything.”, and all those other half asses excuses, but the truth is at the end of the day that social media can be consuming.

In fact if we want to truly get down to it then we can even see where it affects our emotional, and mental state. Sometimes in extreme cases due to bullying online, and other issues people face it can even lead to the physical state being compromised. People hurt themselves, and even kill themselves sadly over what others say, and do to them on social media. In my opinion SnapChat is the worst. Sure I have one, and a few years ago I used it frequently. Now I just simply use it to look at pictures friends have posted, and even then that’s usually once every few months or so. I don’t miss it honestly. I still have my Twitter account which I use maybe once every few weeks or so, and then I’m done after about twenty minutes. I do enjoy Pinterest especially being a Freemason it allows me to see historic Freemasonry images, and websites where I can connect with my Masonic Brothers, and continue my learning. Instagram is okay, and I check it about every three or so days, and then after I scroll for a few minutes I’m pretty much done. I do find myself sometimes getting sucked into cooking videos or news stories, and that’s about the sun of it.

At the end of the day though I seem to not enjoy those apps as much as I do Facebook, but it’s time to pull the plug for a little bit. I’m very opinionated, and being Republican doesn’t help. However I’m not your typical Republican. I believe in equal rights for all including women, and people of color. I believe racism is evil, and that the lgbtq community deserves the same exact rights as anyone else, and should be free from those who would seek to oppress them. Yes oppression is making memes that make fun of them. Yes oppression is sitting back with your buddies, making racist jokes, or jokes about other people who have differences. It’s not just enslaving people, and being mean. It’s not just physically bullying someone. So maybe we should start thinking about that. After all we celebrate Independence Day right? Wasn’t the whole point of coming here to gain freedom, and independence from an oppressive government, and church? So why should those inalienable rights be denied to someone who isn’t white, or someone who isn’t straight, or someone who feels their gender isn’t congruent to their identity? In my eyes God didn’t call us to be ugly towards others in fact Christ Himself as He broke bread with his disciples said “This is my greatest command to you. Love one another as I have loved you.”. Christ didn’t have a mean spirit. He wasn’t ugly towards others! In fact He healed the sick, and the diseased. He comforted those who were in pain, he sat with the elderly, and the widow. He hung out with thieves, prostitutes, and traitors. He was blind to anything that wasn’t love towards another human being. Why can’t we be like He said to be?

Christians like to sit back, and throw scripture out there, but they do so blindly! If we look back at historical record far enough we will find that there are a great number of passages in the Bible that have been altered from their original text to say something that ends up becoming part of a bigger agenda. For example did you know that it was said in Leviticus during the Sodom, and Gamora event that man shall not lay with a man as he would a woman. Many Christians have longed leaned on that scripture to define homosexuality as a sin. However if we actually research the original Hebrew text it was written in we discover that it in fact said that men were to lay with boys sexually which is what was happening at the time. Little boys were being molested by grown men right in front of their fathers while their fathers were being forced to watch! Oxford discovered this alteration back in the early 1900’s, and even pointed it out, but was pretty much shot down.

Anyway I don’t want to take away from my original topics here so I digress. I’ll stop by saying this. As a Mason I am supposed to be a light to others in this world. I can’t be that light if I’m being ugly towards others just because I don’t agree with what they’re doing in life, or because they’re different than me. Getting back here to my original point I will say this. Number one I absolutely despise arguing with my wife. It hurts, and if you truly look at the bigger picture you’ll see that it’s not that we’re truly mad at one another, it’s that we’re mad at a situation, or multiple situations. We end up taking it out on one another because we know we’re safe grounds for each other. We know we aren’t going to take it too far, and get physical with one another, and we know we aren’t going to say something mean, and hurtful that we don’t mean.

In retrospect we find ourselves sucked into a world that only exists in an app. Let’s just be straight up about it. It’s a fantasy world almost. Well in fact thanks to groups it pretty much is! People can be whoever they want to be, create their own little worlds that exist only in the minds of the creator, and those he, or she chooses to be in that group. Don’t get me wrong social media can be an insanely wonderful tool! It’s great for things such as sharing recipes, building blueprints, brainstorming, and overall keeping in contact with friends, and family who may, or may not be local. Trust me I love social media however I also feel there is a lot of overreach as well.

Let’s take a quick look at that overreach. Anymore multiple social platforms have software that is programmed to seek out certain words, phrases, and images that meet a certain criteria. Usually they’re meant to snoop out inappropriate images, and threatening phrases, and from what I gather now they’re even programmed to recognize extremism. That’s wonderful! That is unless you’re just the average everyday American who simply posts an article, or an image they like, and think their followers will as well, or they’re attempting to create a discussion forum where others can join in on the topic, and share their own views, and ideas. Once again this is great except for the fact that this software has in itself shown it’s own signs of extremist viewpoints.

No it doesn’t promote extremism. At least not where you can vividly see it. It’s there for sure, you just have to be aware of what it is in order to know it’s extremism. For example let’s say you post the following statement on your timeline “I agree with President Trump when it comes to building a border wall!”. Well if you were around for the last presidential election you’re no stranger to the fact that President Trump always spoke his mind regardless of what it was, and posted it on Twitter, and Facebook. Well as the days drew closer to the election Twitter, and Facebook, and their companies shut down the then President’s ability to access their platforms under the pretense that he was a bully, and himself racist. They also used the defense of he was giving misleading information regarding Covid. In all actuality he denied the KKK, and racism, he never really bullied anybody, he just was sick of the bs going on in Congress, and with other politicians, and other countries! He wasn’t afraid to say what was on his mind.

I don’t want to get into the semantics of all of that here. If you take a look though that was really what I feel is a major catalyst that two publicly traded companies put into motion to side with extreme leftists, and the mainstream media. I have zero love for the MSM, even Fox News serves no purpose in my life. I’m not left or right. I am Republican and stick to the middle road. It’s the one no one ever goes down anyway. It’s the one where both sides of the aisle are seen, heard, and considered, but at the end the side that has the most common sense ideas at that particular juncture is who I side with, and that may be a Democrat, and that may be a Republican. It just depends on what law they’re trying to introduce, and how much sense there is in the law.

That being said I will say this one last thing in regards to social media. It’s hard to break away from it, and it’s even harder to stay disciplined enough to know when is a good time to surf, and scroll, and when is not a good time. One thing I was raised on was when the phone rings you answer it. One of my biggest problems outside of FB is always answering the phone. I’ve gotten better about it in the last few months. I’m more cautious as to who I answer for. If it’s someone I know only wants me to do something for them, and that’s the only time I hear from them I let the voicemail pick it up, and then it’ll check it. If I think there’s a possibility it’s important I’ll send a text asking such. If the answer is no or anything but yes I let that caller know I’ll touch base with them later. I’m pretty thankful my wife has shown me it’s okay not to answer the phone. It’s kind of spared me some sanity!

At the end of the day folks what matters is self care, and care for your family because at some point they’re going to be all we have. God Bless, and take care!

Ricky

Being Out Of Work, And Having Too Much Time To Kill

It’s been nearly a month since I lost my job as a car salesman. I sure did love selling cars! I’ve been becoming more, and more passionate about it. I even took on specialized training from the world’s top car sales training company The Elliot Group. A lot of things happened in my previous dealership. A lot of bad things happened that should never have happened. I had a General Sales Manager who said things like “You’re a fucking dumbass!”, “Why are you even here? You’re so stupid!”, “I swear to God I’m about to whack you over the shins with my “stupid ugly stick”!”. That’s just to name a few things. If I truly want to go a step above I can say that other salesmen who had customers they haven’t talked to or even tried talking to in years would come in for a new car, and they’d talk to me. The rule in the business is called the “gentleman’s rule”. It basically says if you haven’t reached out to a customer in the last 90 days that customer is free to anyone who takes them. I had many customers that I’d talked to, and then when I was off other salesmen would get the sale. They’d get mad and say that was their customer, and the GSM would stand by them. Sorry that’s not how I was raised in the business. To me that’s something that deprives one of their integrity, and it costs them their respect. To me that’s skating a deal which for those of you unfamiliar with the term it means the deal was stolen. It’s basically thievery.

Now that I’ve covered that I have to say it’s been nice having this time with my wife, and kids. The car business can be rough on families. It’s usually long hours, and spouses usually get frustrated with the amount of time their loved one spends at the office. It’s not their fault by any means. It’s the nature of the business. It’s a constant, and if you’re not up to it I wouldn’t recommend going into the business. For those of us that know at the end of the day we’ve worked our asses off for our families my hat is off to you! The average dealership works twelve hours a day, and that is usually 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. or as we call it bell to bell. Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve never sold a car after 7:00 P.M. , and that’s been a rarity. I believe I’ve sold two cars that the deal began around 5:30 P.M. , and ended around 7:00 P.M. or 7:30 P.M. which ran that late because the finance manager took their sweet time getting to the customer, or the sales manager took their sweet time passing the deal on to finance. I believe the only reason it took finance so long the first time was because the girl was new, and didn’t know what she was doing. She didn’t last long. The other time the GSM drug his feet just to keep me waiting. He loved to try, and punish me in any way he could.

Now that I’ve found myself with this spare time I’ve spent it fruitfully. I’ve applied, and interviewed with multiple dealerships in the city, however I kept getting the run around. One guy pretty much lied stating that business was booming, and he’d never given out so many pay vouchers, yet I spent time researching them, and found that they do good to sell two cars a day. With three men working that dealership that narrows down the odds of me actually winning the bread on that one. So I declined him. Then I had four other interviews that week. Three of which were the manager saying “Okay I like what I’m seeing so I’ll get with the other managers since we don’t make hiring decisions alone, and one of us will call you tomorrow!”, and then you never hear back so you follow up only to find out that manager went on vacation, and never bothered to mention you. You can see it gets tiring. One other dealership said he would “more than likely hire” me, but the next day when I followed up I found out he went a different direction.

Trust me I haven’t just been applying at dealerships. With a wife, and four kids to take care of I’ve been looking for jobs that can, and will pay a decent salary, but no one knows how to answer phones, return calls, or they’re just not hiring. Hell I even had one jerk basically tell me I’m not their type! He posted an ad stating he needed five people, and was going to give a $6,000 training package at no cost right now which to me meant it would have to be paid back later which I was fine with! Now this was a guy I was somewhat familiar with because I’d interviewed three times in a week with his company, and he had said they didn’t have anything open just yet, but as soon as they did he’d let me know, and get me started. So when I called him up I told him I found out they were hiring, and I’d love to join their team. He kept trying to find the right words you could tell. In other words he didn’t want to say “You’re not like us because we’re all top dogs, and we don’t feel like you are. Plus you just don’t seem to fit the look of one of us.”. Yeah he knew he couldn’t pop off with that so he changed his wording to “I’m looking for someone with a certain quality, and I don’t know what it is, but I’ll know it when I see it.”. Sorry pal I don’t play the “You’re not good enough for us!” game. That my friend cost you one hell of a salesman, and money. Oh well moving on! I have been diligently looking, but it’s starting to take its toll on me.

When I reflect on these places that have turned me down I can’t help, but think to myself that maybe my old man was right. I’m nothing, and nobody, and never will be! Yeah that echos in my head all the time. I fight it off, but it’s still there. I have found myself becoming increasingly depressed, and sad. I’m frustrated, and at times angry with myself, and the situation I’ve put my family in. I thank God my wife is who she is, and she loves me for who I am not what I make. Still I’m not comfortable with this. I had an opportunity with another dealership however the problem wasn’t they weren’t going to hire me it was the fact it was an hour commute each day back and forth, and it would be at least 8:00 P.M. when I got home just to turn around, and do it all again the next day which was fine, until money got tight, and the gas expense, and maintenance expense on the car became a bigger issue so I had to turn that job down.

So now I sit here trying not to lose my damn mind, and praying like hell that something comes through quick! Rent will be due at the end of next month, and I know I’ll be back to work by then, but still the fact remains that until then we aren’t in the best position possible to be in. So I keep trying to keep my head up, and make the effort I need to make to make something happen! I know it’ll happen and then we can breathe a sigh of relief, but until then we are stuck in piddly podunck town Texas. We want badly to move to Oklahoma, but we can’t afford to get a new place let alone hire a moving company to pack our house, and move us. Don’t worry I’m not giving up. This is mostly just me venting my frustration at the situation. Everyone needs a place to put their thoughts, and feelings, and I’m not one that talks very well. I write instead, and that’s why I called this place Ricky’s Garden Of Thoughts because my thoughts are beautiful like plants even if they’re not good thoughts they’re still beautiful because they’re my thoughts!

Until next time my friends, take care, God Bless, and thank you for reading!

Weekend Shenanigans With Family, and Friends!

Today we celebrated our oldest daughter’s thirteenth birthday! This last school year she was noticed by one of the athletics coaches at her school playing volleyball, and she liked what she saw in her! She saw raw talent, and wanted to refine it! Now let me first tell you there is literally nothing in this world this kid can’t do! At least nothing I’ve come across yet! She is so multifaceted, and when she sets her mind to something she goes for it!

Now like with any other teenager we occasionally have to spur her on which is typical when youth are starting out in sports. That’s right she’s going out for the team, and in order to help her prepare we got her setup with a volleyball camp. They treat it just like normal practice, and she loves it! Today her grandparents got her a volleyball kit. She was excited beyond belief, and frankly I think we were equally excited for her! She worked diligently with her grandfather to get it all set up!

We held her birthday in the park, and setup the net, and it became a great game! All of us parents played with her, and the other kids, and we had a ball! Now don’t get me wrong. I think Alfonso, Blake, and I probably all need some extra strength ibuprofen at this point, but man did that kid of ours play a hell of a game! There’s never a day when I don’t look at our girls, and think to myself how proud I am that I get to be in their lives, and love them! These kids of ours make me so proud of them. They always work hard at what they’re passionate about! Now if we could just get them as equally passionate about cleaning house!😂!

All in all today was a great day filled with family, friends, great music, and some great memories made! It’s hard for me to do, but one thing I’m trying is breaking away from my phone more, and more to enjoy my family. My screen time irritates my wife lol but I understand it also, and because my family is the most important thing in my life I’m going to try focusing more on breaking away from this ball, and chain to enjoy them, and make some more memories with them!

Until next time, God Bless, and have a wonderful week!

Father’s Day

I became a father for the first time a year ago on June 30th, 2020 right smack dab in the middle of a fricken pandemic! Covid-19 affected us all on some level whether it was we ended up quarantining with an ex, a friend, or family member, maybe even someone we didn’t necessarily like, but at the what appears to be the end to it we all learned something. Some of us had it, and some will still get it. Thankfully my wife, my in laws, and my mom all have been vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine, and all of us had very minimal side effects, and it did not interfere one bit with our daily lives. When my son was born I couldn’t help, but think “What the hell kind of damn mess am I going to bring this boy into?”. I truly worried about what good I would be to him day, and night. I still do, but now I also worry about three little girls who are blossoming into good young women. I pray I don’t fail them, and I strive not to. Whether the girls came from me or not is beside the point. In my heart they’re my girls same as my son is my son. They’re loved equally, and whole heartedly by me, and my wife. In fact I never knew how much fun raising kids could be until I met these sweet, ornery, sometimes mischievous little girls! I say that with a chortle! They all bring me so much joy, and happiness no matter if they’ve done something they shouldn’t have or they’re being typical kids at their age which can sometimes be stubborn, and a little mouthy. Still my love for them doesn’t waiver at all, and it never will. My kids could tell me they committed the most heinous of crimes, and still I would love them. I’d be hurt by their actions because I know the consequences they would face, but I also know my kids wouldn’t do anything like that! Even if they did I would still stand by them! That’s the job of a parent, and not only that, but more importantly it is our God given duty, and right to be so.

Today is Father’s Day, and it is my first without my dad, however it is also my first with my father in law whom I’ve come to look at as a father figure in my life! In a few months it will have been one year since dad’s passing. He was taken from this world in the most cruel, and horrible way a person can be if you ask me. He died from dementia. He was never diagnosed with full blown Alzheimer’s, but I wouldn’t have been surprised had he been. The day my father died I stood at his bedside in the house I was raised in waiting anxiously, even excitedly for him to take his final breath. Bastardly of me I know, but walk a mile in my shoes with him, and you might understand why. Still that didn’t change the fact that I loved him, and love him to this day even in death.

Father’s Day has dual meanings for me. It is a time of reflection on the good times I shared with my dad, and the lessons I learned about being a father from the bad ones. It is also a time for me to enjoy the man who stands before me today, my father in law. I celebrate this man, and the great man he is! It didn’t take me long being around him to know I liked him, and eventually came to love him! There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t know exactly how blessed I am with such wonderful parent in laws. On that same token not a day goes by when I as a father myself don’t know exactly how blessed I am to have such an amazing, and beautiful family! God has been entirely too good to me, and I am thankful he has!

To all of you fathers out there I say this! Not a day goes by when our kids don’t cause us some sort of small or even great grief. There isn’t a day that goes by when we don’t know exactly what to do as fathers! Nor is there is a day that goes by when we as fathers don’t understand that on some level some man out there be it our own fathers, or a man who acted like a father to us made sacrifices on some level to give us what they did, he it knowledge, love, discipline, or any of the great qualities we have. There isn’t a day that goes by when we don’t worry about our kids, and their futures as well. Above all of this though, there isn’t a day that goes by when we don’t love our children, and love being fathers!

To all of you amazing fathers out there enjoy this day, but celebrate it every day! God bless my friends, and Happy Father’s Day to you all, and especially to you Glenn! Thank you for being the great man you are to us all!

It All Begins Somewhere. Right?

Oh where to begin. Many writers face the problem of not knowing where to begin their story, and therefore type up at least a rough draft, then usually a second draft, and then the final draft after having proof read their work. That’s not me. Sure I face the task of figuring out where to start, but that’s pretty easy this time around. Now some of you may find this page to be distasteful, upsetting, pointless, or downright boring. I’m sorry, but I’m not doing this for you. I’m doing this for me, and allowing you to experience it as I write it. To me that’s a privilege when someone gives you a peek into their life.

I’m going to start this page off by telling you my story so that you may understand what brought us to this point. You see I’ve always had a creative mind (thank you Mrs. Forester my 3rd grade teacher who always pushed me to find my imagination!). I slaved myself all throughout school to excel, but I always leaned on a little crutch I had. We’ll get to that later. For now let’s get to know the man behind the keys; shall we? Ahh yes it’s already coming out! This is going to be fun! At least for me!

I was born in the winter of 1982 in Wichita Falls Texas. No I will not divulge my birth mother’s name because I don’t want her name brought into this anymore than her person will be. It was a cold winter in the Falls, and was only going to get colder as winter moved on. My mother…God love her precious soul! She truly is a wonderful woman to know, and call my mother! Now from here on out I must advise my audience that some of the language you will read in here may not be savory to the palette, however I can assure you that these are merely words. Regardless of how vulgar you may think them to be they only have the meaning you give them. Hence why it’s called “Spelling”. You’re literally using words, and defining what those words do! Amazing isn’t it? That we as humans have that infinite power!

I humbly apologize to any reader who is a more polished writer than myself if my grammar, or punctuation should be off! Now on with the story. My mother labored with me for 36.5 hours (and I may be off by an hour), before I finally made my debut in this beautiful world. Before I continue I’d like to give credit to my beautiful, and precious wife for inspiring me to do this! She may not know she has, but she has. I love you my sweet angel of mercy! Thank you for who you are, and what you do for us! Now on with the story. Let me take you back in time nine months prior to my arrival. My mother was a tortured soul. She was the child of a divorce, and remarriage on both sides, and neither side got along very well mostly due to my grandfather’s mean spirit he had.

She sought out comfort in drugs, alcohol, and men. All three were a toxic combination for my young mother. One day she met a man that caught her eye. His name was Michael Bills. That’s literally all I know of him outside of a brief description of his physical appearance. They both chose to have a one night stand, and I was the product of that one nighter nine months later. I never knew who he was outside of a name. Michael Bills is all I know. Maybe he’s done a 23,and me?! Maybe I should?! Either way that’s neither here nor there. What is however is that two weeks after my birth I contracted spinal meningitis, and pretty much died. My grandmother found me blue in the face in my crib (and no I won’t divulge details here as to how it happened.), I was unresponsive, and appeared not to be breathing. The doctors didn’t think I’d live yet here I am 38 years later a walking miracle, and I mean no sarcasm in that at all!

Anyway after a serious or very unfortunate, and rather sad circumstances my sister April, and I were adopted by my grandparents. I was three at the time. Our mother still lived with us, but that’s a blur somewhat. To my knowledge she lived with us is what I should be saying here. Yes she was proven unfit. She was very young and yes it happens and she did the right thing by us at the time as difficult as that may have been.

Alright enough of this. I’m gonna cut to the chase here, and speed things up a bit. My childhood fucking sucked! Period! At first it was wonderful! We had toys galore, video games out the nose, power wheels motorcycles, hell you name it by the time I was 5 years old we had it! That’s when it began though. By this point my grandparents were now mom and dad to us so that’s what we called them. On my fifth birthday I awoke early, and my morning routine consisted of jumping out of bed, and going into the kitchen to jump in my dads lap, and read the Amarillo Globe News. I knew it was my birthday because mom had been getting me hyped up about it all week long! I was getting tons of presents, and cake, and ice cream! What more could a little five year old boy want?! As I ran into the kitchen from my bedroom I was met by a stern face sitting at the table, and boxes piled up along with wrapping paper. There sat my dad wrapping my gifts, and now I’m suddenly confused. “Aren’t they supposed to already be wrapped?!”, I thought to my little self. In that moment my life changed, and not for the better I’m afraid.

There he sat glaring at me as if I’d just committed murder in front of him. I knew that look, but he’d never given it to me. That was until just then. He looked at me as though he was about to tear me to pieces, and he snapped “Get your ass back in bed before I take the paddle, and blister your ass boy!”. I snapped to quickly, but at first I didn’t understand. Why was my dad being so hateful to me? He’d never been anything other than my very best friend. I stood there in shock for a moment, and then he began to rise from his chair at the table, and I knew then, and there he meant it! I was frozen. I couldn’t move! Then without knowing what had just happened he swept me up, and carried me back to my room, and threw me onto my bed, and pointed his finger at me. “If you come out before your momma wakes up I’m gonna paddle your rear boy, and I mean it.”, He sat the paddle on my dresser as if to make his point clear. It was for sure. I sat there playing that morning with my Ghostbuster action figures hoping mom would soon be awake.

What seemed like forever dragged on, and then my bedroom door opened. It was him. “Momma is awake if you wanna go see her.”. He grabbed the paddle off my dresser, and put it in his back pocket of his jeans and walked back to the kitchen. I went, and snuggled up in bed with my mom, and because it was my birthday she put on my favorite He-Man movie. I didn’t breathe a word of the morning’s earlier events. I was too afraid. Then he came in and as though he was the school yard tattle tale told my mom that I came in the kitchen, and saw my presents, and tried looking at them. I was flabbergasted! I couldn’t believe what he was saying and so I sat up, and tried to defend myself. Mom made me sit back down, and he kept staring at me as if he was about to get me. I kept my mouth shut, and played stupid. “He’s just a boy Mike! He’s gonna look! It’s our fault for not wrapping them last night.”, and then an argument ensued.

It was her against him, and Vice versa. I cried, and went to my room, and shut the door. A few minutes later he came busting in. “Go in there you little titty baby, and open your presents! To hell with waiting until your cake is done!”, and then slammed my door, and left. I chased after him because I heard his car keys jingle. I didn’t want him leaving without me! I cried, and begged “Daddy please don’t be mad at me! Wait, and I’ll go with you!”. I begged, and pleaded as he rolled up the window to our Bronco. I was crushed. He was leaving, and without me. He never did that ever! We went everywhere together all the time even if it was simply to get a coke! I felt like my best friend was leaving me forever. I even asked mom if he was coming back tears pouring down my face, and sobbing. She held me tight, and reassured me he was just upset with himself.

That would’ve been nice if that were really the case, but the old man was an SOB to the letter. Everyday from that day forward there was a new reason to use the paddle on me as hard as he could until I couldn’t stand anymore, and sometimes that was because the force was so strong from his swing he’d knock me down, and other times it hurt so bad that I thought if I appealed to his merciful side he would stop, but he didn’t. He would yank me up, and go at it another good five or ten times. One time he went as far as 100 swats. They started out mild, and when he saw I wasn’t flinching anymore that’s when he revved it up, and that’s when the bruises came. Not just superficial bruises either. Some were so deep I had to sit a certain way to keep from hurting, and God forbid I have a pillow to sit on. Nope I sat as I was.

As I got older he began upgrading his equipment from the paddle he hand crafted himself to his belt. That went on for a few years. He would swing it, and if I flinched may God have mercy on my soul because it landed where it landed, and it was my fault for moving, and if I moved he tacked on another five swats to teach me a lesson. Yeah real nice guy right? That SOB had you all fooled if you knew him. Then one day he went off, and began swinging the business end of his belt. That big silver buckle with the eagle on it came flying at my back, and the next thing I knew the fastener (which was shaped like a talon, and as sharp as one too) thrusted itself square into back between my shoulders. My mom had walked in from the grocery store just in time to see it happen. She pushed him aside, and he threatened her she would get it too. She threatened him with her Daddy and if there was one thing any of us feared it was her daddy!

Daddy C as we called him or my great grandfather. He was a Cherokee man that was a ranch foreman on the Ferguson Ranch in Mankins Texas. The old man was tougher than boot leather, and could be meaner than a two headed rattlesnake with six tails if one ever existed. He treated everyone with respect, and dignity until they didn’t deserve it. He grew up in the Great Depression, and lived to tell about it. He had worked himself almost to death his entire life working sun up to sun down. He didn’t take any lip off of anyone, and he didn’t care who you were. If you crossed the line he would be knocking on your door, and chances were good that you’d be nice and bloodied up. He came from a time when men settled their differences then and there, and you damn sure didn’t file charges like you have to nowadays.

Dad stopped that day, and gave me a few days to heal up the puncture wound in my back. I was a tough kid, and just sucked it up. At that point I’d come to hate him. I was ten years old at the time. I told him I hated him anyway mostly because I thought it would trigger some sort of awakening within, but it never did. Instead the older I got the more he resorted to other weapons of choice to hit me with such as a cord to an electric skillet, but once I was about 15 he decided it was time to turn to the fists. So he would hit me usually in the stomach or chest to knock the wind out of me, and then stand over me screaming at me to get up. It was like that scene out of Full Metal Jacket where Senior Drill Instructor Gunnery Sergeant Hartman lights into Private Pile, and knocks him to the ground. I couldn’t breathe each time for the first few times, and then I got smart and began tightening my core muscles so they would absorb most of the blow. He would scream, and yell at the top of his lungs at me to the point he was breathing heavily, and his eyes seemed to bug out of his head. Sweat would even pour down his brow at times, but that was because I began fighting back.

At age 17 I was involved in a wreck. A friend of mine basically stole his mom’s car and lied to me about it taking myself, and two others joy riding. It was March 31st that year, and had rained all day. It got cold that night, and it was just cold enough to cause ice slicks on the road. He managed to hit one, and instead of turning into the skid he slammed his foot onto the accelerator to try scaring us. Instead he slammed us into a bridge at the bottom of a hill, and then backed up slamming us into the other side. The police that responded to the accident said had we stayed in the car it would’ve crashed into the creek which was dried up, and full of sharp broken concrete slabs, and rocks. Dad was overly kind to me for the next six months or so while I healed from a torn ACL, MCL, and partially torn XCL. He even bought me a Playststion 2 and some games to play while I was down. This would be my first experience with opioids.

During the time I was healing I was in various leg, and knee immobilizers, and on three different opioids to lower my pain levels. I liked how they made me feel. I felt almost drunk. Like a good buzz, and it was the kind you wanted to last forever because it was so euphoric! Luckily mom, and dad didn’t leave my pills with me, but every four to six hours they were switching out checking in on me. At times dad would sit on the edge of my bed, watching me play video games just as silent as a mouse. Finally one day I snapped, but kept my composure, mostly because I was in a lot of pain, and trying to build up a tolerance to it. I sat up in bed, put my controller down, pausing my game, and I just looked at him. I remember our exact conversation. “What do you want?”, I asked tiredly. He shook his head, and said “Nothing. I was just making sure you were okay.”, he replied. “It’s a little too late for that dad. I’m broken for the time being, but don’t worry I’ll be back on my feet without this brace soon enough, and then you can start punching on me again.”, I knew that statement right there would trip his trigger. I was waiting on a settlement check from the wreck, and he knew he stood to benefit from it so he kept his wit. I’d say wits, but let’s face it he didn’t have much. Instead of arguing he solemnly got up, and said “Don’t forget to take your meds.”, and sat my pills on my dresser. I watched as he walked out of the room closing the door behind him. Then I took my meds, but not before I made sure it was the right ones! It was Darvacet, and I was glad! That was the one that really got me lit!

When my check came I was 18, and had already been back to standard operating procedures at this point. I even worked part time as a stocker for Wal Mart. I was ecstatic! I was getting four thousand dollars, and I couldn’t have been happier! I was taking mom to go see Daddy C, and her brother Uncle Joey. My boss gave me a week off, and I was thrilled for it! The day came for us to leave, and we were finally all packed up ready we to go! I was taking my PlayStation 2, and he saw that I was packing it. He ordered me to put it back on my TV cart, and I said “No mom already said I could take it.”, and I kept gathering my bags. He slammed his hand against my door barring me from leaving my room, and I just dipped under his arm. Mom began yelling at him to leave me alone, and quit trying to start a fight. So he went out to our van that we had at the time, and removed the battery so we couldn’t leave. That’s when the real fight began.

I calmly loaded my bags into the car, and I then walked over to the garage where the batter was, and grabbed it along with a wrench to tighten the nuts on the terminals. He demanded to know what I was doing so I told him I was putting the battery back in, getting mom, and leaving. He grabbed my arm, and I warned him to let loose of me. He cocked his fist back ready to strike, and so did I. He scoffed at me, and let go, walking back into the house yelling at my mom. That was a big mistake. I quickly put the battery on the hood, and ran in after him afraid of what he might do to her. He had her backed against a wall, and I’d seen this only one time before, and it ended in five year old me jumping on his back, biting him, and being thrown across the room into a wall. I grabbed his shoulder, and spun him around, and said “If you wanna fight you’re looking at the wrong one. “I’m right here buddy so let’s do this, and get it over with!”, I said gritting my teeth. You don’t hit a woman, or make her fear you through means of intimidation like that. At least not around me.

The fight was on, and mom quickly ran to the van. It seemed like forever we grappled one another, pushing one another whichever way, and occasionally throwing a fist. Then I wrapped up behind him, and had him restrained telling him “I’m not letting go until you settle down!”. Instead he saw his moment of opportunity. He tilted his head down into my right bicep, and sunk his teeth down into my flesh as hard as he could, thrashing his head to, and fro like an angry Rottweiler! I wretched out in agony, but never let go of him. I cried, and bawled as his teeth sank deep into my tissue, and then I took the last ounce of energy I had left, and shoved him as hard as I could against the door between the utility room, and kitchen. It was closed when I did it, and just then mom walked in to see me pushing him so hard he feel into the door causing it to break off the hinges, and fall backwards. I didn’t care. I’d won despite my arm. He quickly got up and took a lowered stance charging at my left knee (the one that just healed up from the wreck). I saw it coming, and deflected it by a brow strike with the butt of my palm. The blow was just hard enough to knock him down, and cause some disorientation. Mom shoved me back, and told me to get in the van, and so I did. Apparently she’d played badass mom, and put the battery in during all the commotion. My arm was bleeding badly, and so she parked the van, and we went back inside to clean it out, and bandage it. The entire time he stood there calling me a little pussy. I finally looked at him, and said “Dumbass I’m not the one that got knocked through a door, and has a cut on his head from my palm.”. He argued that it was my fist, and I blew him off. I looked at him as we were leaving and I said these words I’ll never forget; “I hope you burn in hell you sorry bastard!”. He looked at me and said “I’m not the bastard! I know who my daddy is!”. That did it. I turned back around, and delivered my final statement to his face. My fist came with enough force that I busted his mouth wide open, and I told him “Yeah I thought I did too, but I was wrong.”, and with that we left.

That week became a summer when my boss called me at my Uncles house. He’s called my house, and dad had given him my Uncle’s number. They wanted me to end my time off, and come back to help because a stocker had quit, and one got fired so they needed help, but I couldn’t leave like that. It was three, and a half hours away, and I’d only been gone for two days! Needless to say they fired me which was no big deal. I wasn’t worried about making summer money because I knew my Daddy C would let me work for him, and that’s what I did. By now ole Bill Ferguson had passed away leaving the ranch to Daddy C since he was his foreman, and Daddy C disbanded the ranch, selling it to start his very own ranch called the Lazy J. I helped him that summer make his own brand, and we worked cattle all day long. It was hot, humid, and miserable. The mesquite trees were full of thorns, and it was my luck I found almost everyone of them. Daddy C would just laugh, and every time he did I’d shoot him a dirty look, and he’d straighten up, and look away, and start laughing again. I was worked hard that summer, but at the end of each day as we sat down to dinner I was always glad for the twenty dollars I’d made that day. It wasn’t much by standards even then for that type of work, but it was sure fun. Daddy C, and I had our moments where we’d argue, and fuss out in the field; but what do you expect from two men who are exhausted, hungry, and hot?

At Summer’s end dad came down. He rented a car, and drove it to my Uncle’s house. I had no idea he was coming. When i pulled into the driveway I noticed a car I’d never seen before, but thought maybe it was a friend of the family or something. When I walked through the gate into the backyard there he stood. My arch rival stood there grinning at me a beer in hand. I walked over to the ice chest not saying a word to him, and grabbed a beer of my own. He quickly jumped up from his seat, and told me I better put it back. I looked at him, and said “When you get off your fat ass, and go do what I’ve been doing all day then you can tell me what to do. Until the shut your mouth, and drink your damn beer before I make you swallow can, and all.”. He scoffed like he always did as if I was supposed to believe he wasn’t afraid. I didn’t speak to him at all for the next three days. I had Friday’s, and weekends off , and I used it to go fish in my uncles stock pond behind his house. He followed me that night, and stood there watching as I popped largemouth bass left, and right. It took a while for him to say anything, but then he came, and lifted my sleeve to see my arm. It was healed mostly, and scaring up good. He took in a deep breath, and said he was sorry, and so did I. Not another word was spoken that night between us. In fact it took me another week to finally even say hello to him.

Don’t worry I got wise when we returned home from our trip. I got myself a job full time working for a retailtainment company, and ended up getting my own place. I did good for a little while, and then after an hours cut due to sales being down I ended up losing my apartment. I decided to move in with a friend, and pay him rent, but after a while it got kind of strained on both of us. Neither of us had any privacy, and frankly we spent too much money, and time on video games. By the time I was 21 I decided I was going to spend a summer in Lubbock Texas, and stay with my sister there. Yes April my sister that was adopted alongside me lived in Lubbock at the time. I did security gigs at some of the local night clubs, and I would substitute for guys on my off nights if they couldn’t work for whatever reason. Anyway most of this is just backstory. It won’t be here for long because I’m going to delete it after a few days so for those of you who will actually put forth the honest, and noble effort of reading I thank you. At this point I feel you’ve learned enough about me to know where I come from.

I’ve had some knocks in life. I’ve had my heart broken I can’t tell you how many times, and not just by women I loved, but by men, and friends that I held in high regard that showed me I was wrong for doing so. Those are what I call lessons learned. When I was in Lubbock I was 21, and didn’t much enjoy the city itself. Life was good, and it moved on into a different direction. I went back to Pampa, and worked various retail jobs, I ended up working for the state of Texas as a Corrections Officer, hated it, went back into retail after some years with the state, hated retail, but stuck with it, and by the time I was 38 I had held a life that was to say the least fast, interesting, troubling at times. When I was 25 I became addicted to heroin. I stayed strung out for a year, and boy I did a damn good job of hiding it. I stayed that way for a year. It was fun at first, but quickly became a nightmare I felt I’d never wake from. Finally my money I was winning gambling all the time ran out. It was a few years later a bad tooth lead me down a path of opioid addiction. Yes I know it was the tooth’s fault and that’s not what I’m saying! I’m just saying it the catalyst of it all. For another few years I pharmacy hopped using an old dentist that wrote me prescriptions for darvacet, Vicodin, and just about any other pain killer I wanted for “bad teeth”. Thankfully the woman I was seeing at the time caught on, and began keeping the pills from me, and helped me ween off of them finally.

Alright now of all of that. Hell that was ten years ago damn near to the day! I continued living my life in the fast lane however, and I continued doing whatever, and going wherever my heart so desired. I traveled quite a bit, and lived in various places with one of my most dearly loved, and cherished friends whom I consider a brother to me. He, and his partner, and I have enjoyed many years of wonderful friendship that I wouldn’t trade for all the gold in the world! Now I’m 38, settled down, had a little boy from a previous relationship who is absolutely rotten to the core, and as cute as a button that my wife, and I love with all of our hearts the same as we love the three beautiful little girls she brought into my life. My father passed away a cruel, and awful death that regardless of how he treated me he did not deserve. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I learned he’d lied to me about his service as a Marine during the Bay Of Pigs Invasion of Cuba that I learned my dad most likely did what every good Soldier, Sailor, Marine, and Airman prays they never have to do, and that’s saw combat, and most likely was fired upon, and returned fire. He always told me that he never saw combat that the minute their ship pulled into Cuba he was given the option of renewing his contract, or taking his honorable discharge. He chose the discharge according to him, and was immediately sent home. It is my understanding that never happens except in cases of rare emergencies. He kept that secret I like to think as a way of protecting the image I had of him at the time, and as he grew older it was never a question again, and therefore never talked about.

Now that you know quite a great deal about me (That is should you have taken the time to read this.) then you know more about me than most. As I stated earlier this section will be deleted in a few days. It will be replaced by a smaller, more simple biographical piece. At this point I hope you’ve enjoyed, and I hope that as the weeks press on you will continue to enjoy my writings. This is my garden of thoughts. This is where I will speak on subjects that matter to me. Take care, and God bless!

Happy Juneteenth!

My God what a time to be alive! History is being written every single day! Now I’m no fan of our current President, but let me take a moment to make something very clear. While I may be a Republican at heart I have commons sense, and respect for the Office Of The President Of The United States, and one must come to the understanding that it’s not the man in the office that we uphold. If you do then you have no idea what patriotism is. Sure he is the Commander In Chief, and rightfully so! He was elected, and that’s then end of it. It doesn’t matter if you think it was a fair, and just election or not. Absolutely I loved President Trump. I felt he could keep his mouth shut at times when he didn’t, but overall he did what he felt in his heart was best for this nation, and Joe Biden is no different! I have my questions about his affections towards strange children, and women, however I have yet to hear anyone come forward stating he made them uncomfortable, or violated them. Usually when a man runs for public office is when we hear about these things. Those folks who have complaint against him come out in full force just as we saw happening with Trump. Maybe just maybe he’s just a sweet old man that loves people. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the shitter for those of you who just absolutely despise the man without even knowing him?! Of course it would, and you’d feel like absolute trash for questioning his motives in such a way as would I because I too questioned his motives before. You see it’s not the man himself I uphold. It is the office which he represents, and very foundation it was built on that I uphold.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way I’m going to say this. Thank you President Biden for declaring Juneteenth as an official Federal Holiday! It is one in which black Americans of all ages, African Americans of all ages, and people from other nations who are black can come together to celebrate the independence of black people in America no longer being held legally as slaves! It is a day that marks the emancipation of those who were enslaved. I am thankful that today black people all across this great nation can live freely!

Sadly however while black Americans maybe free legally they still have worries, they still face ungodly horrors, and many of them are very afraid of white men. Why do we think that is? Oh gee I don’t know how about we ask those who show partiality to white folks over black folks. I’m sure they could give us the answer in all their infinite wisdom. Until black people can live in this country without the fear of being discriminated against by law enforcement, the government, their co-workers, bosses, and even their own fellow citizens then sadly they aren’t truly free now are they. What can we do in this nation that guarantees them true freedom? Unfortunately there is no bill that can be written into law, and signed on because that in itself would destroy the very foundation of the Constitution Of The United States Of America, and that would mean every single rite we have as Americans would eventually fade away.

On this day however I stand with my fellow Americans who are of color. I stand for their rights to the same exact treatment, and freedoms a white person enjoys. I stand with those who have been hurt by racism, and those who came before us, and have since left us for the beautiful Home we are promised in Heaven. May God rest their souls, and May God work in the hearts of every man, woman, and child to end racism, and national discrimination.

God Bless, and Happy Juneteenth.

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