The Distances Are Not So Great

– Although when one is young the distance between youth and old age seem to be. We are forever pushing those early years trying to reach those special milestones that will allow us a little more freedom, and little more privilege – most of the time not realizing that the anticipation is greater than the reward. When everything is new, each discovery is an awe-inspiring experience, but it isn’t long until those discoveries become fewer and fewer, until you hit that time where an old phrase says it all – “been there, done that”.

We push for the time we can walk, where we can move from three wheels to two, for that time when we first go to school, even though we are very tentative about this. Then once the routine of school is there we look towards either middle school or junior high school, whichever is the way of our school system. Here we look forward to that second graduation ceremony, after, of course, our graduation from kindergarten. For a short, very short time indeed, we are the kings and queens of our school, but it is short-lived. We then find ourselves on the very bottom – a freshman for heaven sake.

It is here where the hormones kick in and we become our true sex – male and female. Until this time there really wasn’t much difference between the 2 sexes other than the plumbing, but now it’s very different. Those new feelings for the opposite sex, those raging hormones begin to have a greater influence on our personalities. Girls have to learn how to walk and run again because their center of gravity has shifted, and their bodies have gone through many physical changes including those first periods, which are both looked forward to and at the same time not. It is the time when the hormones really begin to control females as their fertile cycles run their course. In those early years it is beyond understanding to girls as to why their emotions run the gambit from happy to tears all happening within a couple of days.

Few, during these early years of raging hormones, begin to couple and find the pleasure that the body gives one when being physical. Most (at least in my generation) do not. With sex education now beginning in middle-school it isn’t unusual for more experimentation when there can be no consequences. This leads to the time when both become fertile to bring forth too many unintended pregnancies. We finally leave high school and either move on to college or begin our careers. (Although, there are many who do not have the patience to finish the required years of schooling and drop out, thinking that they know so much better than the masses. Only to learn that they were very wrong, and that they are now stuck in the lowest of low jobs with no chance of advancement.)

It is at this time in life when one hopefully finds that soul mate, marries, have children, and find themselves in debt trying to stay ahead of the demands of life and family. Here it becomes a daily struggle, and at times, bad enough that it breaks up families pushing the woman generally into poverty status, since she normally ends up with the fruits of that relationship – the children. Even though it doesn’t seem like it, the years suddenly fly and one sees their children grown and wonder how it came about. After all, wasn’t it yesterday that we brought home that child home from the hospital as a baby? And now they are grown and out with their own friends and life mates with children of their own. Leaving you to ask, how, why, when, and what happened?

You look into that unforgiving mirror and see gray and silver, with the wrinkles of time showing. You think of all that you wanted to accomplish in your life, but find that it is too late, and wonder why. Where’d the time go, you ask, but have no answer. It is then that you realize that the distances are not so great as you once imagined way back at the beginning of your life, back when you were a child. The time in your life when you honestly was carefree, and you had to whole world, and all the time ahead of you. You had many ideas and dreams, and yes, even goals. But now you realize that indeed it is too late. They are part of the past, they are out of reach, and as your body begins to fail, you wonder why it is so. You ask; why has time moved so fast?

You find that you tire easily – those reserves of youth used up and gone. Your vision gets weak, and you find that a nap in the afternoon is something to look forward to. Your mind seems no different, and you feel no different inside than what you did back when you were a child. But much water as flowed in that time and you realize that you cannot stop the march of time, or the ravages that it lays upon all of us. For now you are that grandparent, the matriarch and patriarch of your family and you remember your own grandparents and how old they seemed. Yet, suddenly it is you – you who are the grandparents.

It leaves you realizing that your time here on this world is coming to an end, and that there is less time left to your life, than what you have already lived. It is here where you begin to wonder what your legacy truly is. For most of us, myself including, it will be family. I, like most, am part of the unknown millions, billions, that exist in the world, or have existed in the past. So we look back, many times with regrets at the mistakes that we’ve made, and smile at some special moment that warms our heart. Because life is a journey, and we cannot predict where it will lead, or what our outcome will be in the end. Yet, if we’ve lived honestly, tried to help where we could, loved, raised a good and healthy family that contributes to the good in our world, there is little more that one could ask.

Yes it would be nice to have had more money, to be able to do more with our time, with our families – and it is here where we face many of our regrets. “If only”, becomes a common phrase, but we all live in an unforgiving, uncaring world. So if, in the end, we’ve had compassion for each other, have cared, then we can honestly say that we were someone who helped to hold the darkness at bay for our little time that we were here.” The world may not remember me, but my family does”, and in the end, isn’t that the most important part of living? Showing that you cared, showing that you loved, and showing that you tried. So remember, the distances are not so great, and you will find yourself there much sooner than you expect or anticipate. May we all have warm memories to keep those cold lonely nights away.

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Additional Thoughts on Socialism

Opinion. When I received the comment that Socialism is an economic  system similar to capitalism, or the free market system, it made me think a bit about this. It is easy for a Socialist to put forth this idea making the rest of us forget that while it is a method of controlling buying and selling, it is also an ideology, and pushing it to the extreme you end up with Communism. It is still a system of heavy government control where every aspect of buying and selling and your life is controlled by some rule or regulation that comes from that government – thusly control. Because of this, it leaves the government as the overseers and writers of these laws, thusly giving them total power. And it has been proven that total power corrupts totally.

We have the beginnings of this, here and now, with this present Socialist government, and it does not matter if the elected official is a Democrat, or a Republican, they are simply the opposite sides of the same coin. The question arises is this; are we, in the country, this nation, a 2 party system? Is it required for one to be elected that they be one of the two major parties? The answer is no. But they have controlled for so long that both, no matter what the rhetoric says, have leaned heavily towards Socialism. After all it makes them the elite, and outside of the very laws, regulations, and requirements that they pass and force upon we, the citizens.

Making health care both a national program, and making it Socialized Medicine is the very first step in converting a nation and its people to a Socialist State, and that is exactly what Obamacare is. And while on the subject of making laws, where is it required that a document that is put forth to congress must be 2000+ pages, and have no one read it before it is passed, and then signed into law? In my mind this is criminal negligence to the “Nth” degree. If it requires that many pages of text, then there is obviously something wrong, and there is much hidden within the document that allows the government to do as they please. And this one does just that. You have already begun to see the results of this Socialist system across this country. Corruption is on the rise, jobs are being lost, quality of goods and services are dropping while prices either remain the same or continue on an upward trend. 3 pounds of coffee is now 39 ounces, 5 gallons of paint is now 4 gallons, 5 pounds of sugar or flour is now 4 pounds. Where you could at one time get hamburger at 8% fat content, it is now 12%, and costs more, and this only touches the surface. Add to it that we are now seeing city and state governments on the verge of bankruptcy, as are many nations of this world who are Socialistic States or Countries, and it leaves one scratching their head as to why.

Each day we see more restrictions, regulations, requirements, higher taxes (and you ain’t seen nothing yet), and less freedom. We see more and more intrusion from the government into our personal lives, places where they are not to be, or not legally allowed, and we are supposedly protected by our Constitution and a Supreme Court which is required to uphold that document, yet that’s not what we are seeing. But when a government has complete control, such things mean nothing and only apply to others, not them. Individual freedoms go out the window and only what the government wants becomes what is applied. After all Socialism controls all aspects of one’s life.

So do we want to become just another Socialist Nation that ultimately will fail, or maybe the extreme, a Communist Nation? Or do we need to return to what our forefathers envisioned, making the government small, and restricted to what we the people demand of it? If this government stayed within the bounds of the Constitution we would not be facing what we are presently and this post would be unnecessary. If we continue along this present course, in a very short time it will no longer matter, because, it will be too late. It will no longer be a government for the people and by the people, but a government that will be the final and only word. There will be no justice, there will be no freedoms, and there will be no individual rights. It will be only as the government will decide. And that my friends, is a very scary thought to even contemplate.

Here is the link back to the previous post if you did not have a chance to read it. https://windmillsmetaphor4writing.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/socialism-really/

The Ones Before, Excerpt 2

This is book 1 in the Discovery Series, and as stated in this title, is excerpt 2. This book and the ones that follow were written because of my love of archaeology, and our need to understand the the past. Of course this could include paleontology, geology and such since all have influences that led to who we are. As I stated with the first excerpt, how our past is interpreted is always open to discussion and when discoveries are made it is very difficult to remove one’s culture from the interpretation, and many times governments want to become involved adding other influences.  So it came to my mind that if we advance time in the thousands of years after an apocalyptic event that destroyed our civilization to a culture that knows nothing of their distant past how would they see us, especially since there would be very little that would have survived both the event, and the passing of time.

In this short excerpt I’m introducing you to Lauma, the sister, half of the owners of the family property. Her brother Laaut has left on a personal errand leaving her the responsibility of taking care of their business which is the breeding, raising, and the selling of herd and pack animals. The property that they own has been in the family for generations and with all that has transpired,  they are close to losing it. With tragedy in the past with the loss of their sires to a freak accident when they were in their beginning teens it has been a upward struggle for which they have been slowly losing. Laaut is hoping that what he is attempting will solve this and to keep his sister from worrying he concocts a story to cover what his actual destination is. And at dusk he leaves, it is here that this excerpt picks up. I’m still working towards the final edit so there is a chance of minor changes.

Lauma, after her brother left, went to her sleeping space, and finished cleaning the area, then proceeded out to care for both the recent additions to their herds, and the pack beasts. They were proud of what they had accomplished. Their small herd of pack beasts was considered the best in the region. Still without the base to sell what they had there were no resources to grow larger, and as a result, theirs was a small operation. It had taken many turns and mistakes to learn what they needed, to continue in the family business and tradition. As she walked toward the out shelter across the hard packed soil she could hear one of the young beasts making sounds of complaint. Smiling, and shrugging, she thought, it will be a long evening without the help of my brother Laaut. Still these hungry younglings had to be fed and then the fodder for the pack beasts needed to be placed into their enclosure – followed by making sure that both clean water and the salty rock they loved to lick were available, and whether it required replacement, or if the water container had to be refilled. Always so much to do.

It was well after dark when the needs of the beasts were taken care of, and she headed back inside to take a needed bath – a luxury that she really looked forward to. It had only been a couple of cycles since they were able to repair the water heating device, and not having to heat water on the fire either in the cooking stove or outside, for a bath, after one was exhausted from the day’s work, meant that there had been too many cold baths. She went to her room got her clean nightclothes and retired to the bathing space and drew her bath. Laying out her clean clothes and the soft drying cloth, she undressed and with a sign of contentment climbed into the warm water, and soaked up the heat that felt wonderful to her tired, aching body. Closing her eyes, she thought, it would be so easy just to fall asleep here. But she knew that once finished here she would still have a few chores to do to set up for the morrow’s work.

Thinking back on the conversation with her brother, she idly wondered what he was really doing. He really should have known by now that she could read him quite well. For some reason he seemed to feel that he still needed to protect her. While she appreciated the sentiment, she felt it would be better if he would just be honest and up front with her. Shaking her head and sighing, she thought, Yeah, like that’s ever going to happen.

* * *

After the bath and feeling somewhat refreshed, she finished her final chores of the evening and headed out on the porch in her nightclothes to sit and relax a little before going to bed. She loved the quiet solitude in the evenings and the clear nighttime views of both the surrounding hills, and the stars in the sky – the subtle breezes that would touch her, so softly that it were barely felt. Again, shaking her head, she knew that someday most likely she would have to leave, and that was a very sad thought indeed. It was easy to sit there and remember the good days in the past and all those fun and all the carefree times one had while growing up. Such things as running out with friends to play in the fields, watching the clouds go by in the sky and making different things from their shapes. The secrets that meant nothing they had between each other, her best friend Sooma, who was a turn older than she, and then there was Traylu, who was younger and a shy person at the time. Yet through that shyness there was a strength that would show now and then.

Thinking of them made her wonder what they were doing now, and of course, she knew she had no answer. Once that terrible accident happened, the one that took her sires away, the small group kind of drifted away. As her brother, she had withdrawn for a long period of time, and when the time of sorrow was finished, so was the innocence of youth. Her friends could continue in that innocence, but for her, it was gone forever.

Probably if she reached out and contacted them again, the friendships would be renewed. A wonderful thought really. Sitting there on the porch with her thoughts she drifted lightly into sleep, and moments later realized what had happened, and decided she had better get into bed. On the morrow without her sibling there to assist with the morn chores, would make for a long and tiring morn. She got up from her chair went back inside and hung the latch on the door, dropped the pin so it could not be opened from outside, then went to her sleeping space and climbed into bed and drifted off to sleep, still thinking of her friends from the past.

Here is the link back to the first excerpt:  https://windmillsmetaphor4writing.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/the-ones-before-1st-excerpt/

A Week and a Day

This is a fictional short story. It has been a while, and somewhere in the past I promised to continue posting them. This story came from a dream, and while the images that led to this story were only a scene or two, here is the result. This story is in first person. I hope that all of you enjoy, and here’s hoping you had a nice 4th of July – F D Brant

We’d received word that there was a family that was looking for asylum to our country. The family was just an ordinary family with no special talents or skills that would have been required in the past. Since the nation that they were presently living had begun to tighten their borders, and to put greater pressure on the citizens within their borders, to “toe the party line” so to speak, and any who did not were punished. So it was with this knowledge that the change of policy had come down through the channels that any who wanted to be free from there would be given the chance through our underground. From there the assignment came to my department to see if such a thing would be possible. When we researched what we knew, there were many favorable factors that said that we could pull this off, and even though our window was small – no more than a week, plus a day or two – we felt it was doable.

Since this area where this family lives was an area that I had hunted when I was young and before the shutdown of the borders, I was the one who would lead the team on the ground – very unusual I know, especially since I had been out of the field end of this work for quite a few years – age has a way of doing that. But because of the small window that we had to work my experience and knowledge were critical. Especially if we were to be successful and defeat the repressive government that now controlled that country. And we wanted to frustrate that government and pull their victims out of their hands at every opportunity. It made me smile every time we’d been successful in the past. Of course it was common for entire families to disappear under the present government and no one the wiser as to what had happened to them. But we on the outside were quite aware of what transpired and it was ugly.

The borders were patrolled regularly and also they had electronic surveillance making it difficult to pass over those borders. Still, if one knew where to look, there were always weaknesses in any system and this one was no different. With it late in the year, and it was winter, close to the time of the annual celebration within that nation that was now called, “The Winter Solstice Celebration”, instead of what it had always been known before, we went to work. So with the team organized we headed for the border in a snowstorm figuring that this would at least keep the patrols down to a minimum. No one in their right mind wanted to be out in this stuff. After all, with the strength of the winds, the falling and blowing snow, the freezing temperatures, one could easily die, and it was so much nicer to remain by a warm cheery fire. The terrain favored us also and created large holes in their electronic network. Of course their goal was more to keep their citizens inside their borders than keep others out. So like the old USSR, not much was truly known about what was happening inside the borders other than what could be transmitted or smuggled out.

Who really knew what had happened to bring this family under suspicion of this government, but we suspected that some official decided that he liked the property that was owned by this family and to get it simply meant that he had to eliminate the family and then claim it for the state, for which, of course, he would manage. Again, from many of the conversations that we had, from the ones who had escaped, we knew that this was a common practice. After all who could stop the Secret Police, or the corruption and control, which existed there? It was our job to be like the hyenas that worry the lion after a kill so that we could get our share. Every time we were successful in rescuing any from their grasp was a win for us. Of course we were unable to be successful each and every time. It would be nice, but that is not reality, and yes, if we wanted to be completely honest we had failed a number of times. But each success meant that we could show the world that they were not invincible, and we would be sure that the facts would be transmitted back into those closed borders to give the suppressed citizens hope that someday this could end or that they would have their chance to leave.

With these thoughts we parked our vehicles hidden deep in one of the many valleys, and headed, on foot, to a point well known to us. It was rarely patrolled and the electronic surveillance had so many holes that it could have been Swiss cheese. Still, we had to be careful, for there were times when they would set up a command post close by and run military exercises in this area. At this point the one who had the electronic sniffer warned us that we were coming into the area where we could be located with the motion sensing tracker so we stopped. There was an exact path that we had to follow to avoid detection and it was his job to get us past. So with patience we waited as he tested the air for any stray signals, and once satisfied signaled the “move out” and led us along a convoluted path until we were well inside. He then signaled that it was safe and we were past the border and now outside of the electronic tracking signals. Of course we were the enemy so we couldn’t relax that much, still having to be on the alert for the random patrols, and stray dog teams, that were sent out periodically. Luck was with us and because of the snowstorm raging most seemed to decide that it was better inside than out, and who could truly blame them?

Eventually we arrived at our destination, searched the surrounding area, and then with care entered into the home by the normal means of knocking on the door and being invited inside. With our search outside we could see why some official would covet this property. It was somewhat remote, the home, while old, was well built with plenty of room. A covered walkway and bridge that ran over a frozen creek that led one to a combination garage, workshop, and apartment that was built over the garage completed the layout. The views, even though with the weather we were facing made it impossible to see, were fabulous. I have to admit personally that it was very nice to get inside and out of that raging storm. Our team consisted of only three, both to remain hidden, and not raise suspicions because of the number of people that arrived at this home. We appeared to be no more than relatives or friends visiting because of the holiday season.

Of course we placed our own devices before approaching the home to be sure that we had the area monitored. There was no way that we wanted to be approached without we knowing. After all, all of us were quite aware of what would happen if we were caught. If we were lucky it would be a kangaroo court followed by prison, if not, torture and death. Of course none of this was known publicly since such would be protested throughout the world. So when one entered here one had better use every device, and every bit of training that was available to help guarantee success. So after the devices had been placed we headed away from the home and then approached it openly down their road on foot talking about the holiday and our anticipation of meeting our old friends. This, of course, to throw off any who might be observing the home, and we were sure that even with this nasty weather, someone would be.

So once inside the two members of my team took up their positions, one to watch through the windows, and the second to monitor our own hidden devices. I could see the nervousness on the faces of the family members, all four of them. The father took a deep breath and waited for me to speak. “Is all ready?” I asked.

“Yes, we have our packs together,” was all he said.

I knew that he was waiting for the phrase that would confirm that we were the ones. After all there was a great possibility that we were the Secret Police trying to trap them. And what better way than to get them to admit what was planned? I smiled and said, “Oh if it were summer, we’d be seeing and smelling those lovely roses. I know that your wife is famous for her roses,” which, of course, she wasn’t. In fact she had no talent for growing things at all. The house plants very rarely survived and where they were located was called death row, since she killed them more often than keeping them healthy and alive. I heard the sigh of relief when they received the phrase. “Okay then, we need to move, and do it now.” About the time I got those words out I heard the one who was monitoring our devices say, “Here they come. It looks like you were correct. From our devices I am seeing at least 3 vehicles, and 1 helicopter.”

I smiled, as the ones approaching would be in for a surprise. Instead of coming in and taking a family who had no way to defend themselves, and with the weather so bad, which made me feel sorry for that pilot, they were going to run into a trap themselves. We’d leave our own mark on them before we left. Turning back to the family which consisted of the parents and 2 children, the oldest being a boy of about 13, I said, “Let’s move then. No more time to enjoy the season. It’s now or never.” They took a quick last look around, and I’ll give them credit, they didn’t hesitate at all but headed for the pathway that would lead across to the garage where we would then head into the forest and disappear. We originally hoped that we could do this without this government being the wiser, but we had dealt with Murphy too many times to expect it to go smoothly, and once again good old Murphy was here.

I had the one who had been watching out the windows to go with the family to the garage where we would all meet up. It was time to have some fun, so to speak. Although shooting at each other really isn’t fun, but to give these some of their own we thought was only right. So when we were sure that the family and our one man was out of the house and on their way we waited until we saw, through the blowing snow, the vehicles pull up and stop. We now could hear, above the blowing winds, the helicopter approaching. Giving it a few more minutes and time for the ones to exit their vehicles I opened the door and tossed a flash-bang their way just to let them know that things would not be going as they had planned. I almost laughed since they didn’t know what was going on and when the flash-bang exploded it was like watching a stirred up ant nest with the Secret Police running in all directions trying to avoid whatever this explosion was.

You could hear the sharp rev of the engines and the change of pitch on the blades of the chopper as the pilot pulled up and changed his direction. But unknown to them or the pilot we had planned for this possibility and that chopper would not survive to return back to wherever it had originated from. I did not necessarily like to kill, but felt no qualms about these who had killed too many of the innocent. So I felt it only right that they got a little of what they dished out. The electronics expert looked and me and smiled. We both knew what was to follow, and the ones out there didn’t have a clue. The flash-bang let the third member know that it would be time to get the next part moving, and once he heard us firing he would do his part.

Looking over at the one who had smiled I nodded and asked, “Are you ready?” Still with that wicked smile on his face he only nodded. “Okay, let off the clip and let’s get out of here.” We both did, but really it was only for show, something to slow the ones outside down. And to add to their problems we were jamming their communications so that they couldn’t ask for reinforcements on what was to be a routine pickup. Now moving towards the exit we had about 15 seconds before the next phase began, and before we reached the door it began. These ones on the outside were in for a big surprise, yes another one. And it began with a series of explosions, one shutting down the road into the property isolating them here until help could arrive, which would be long after we were gone.

We finally made the garage and the helicopter came sweeping in out of the snowstorm coming too close which triggered one of our automatic devices that sent a small missile, one that would normally do minor damage to a target because of its small size, but this time Murphy was on our side and it struck something vital that caused the chopper to ignite. We never knew what but suddenly the chopper was in flames and the surprised pilot had put the nose down in reaction, and this was followed immediately by the chopper crashing into the house, leading to an explosion that knocked us over, collapsing the covered bridge and walkway between the now flaming ruins that had been the house and the garage where we were located. Throwing debris in every direction, and actually destroying the vehicles, since they were parked too close to that house. As to injuries or deaths to the ground forces, we had no idea and really didn’t care.

All of us stood back up stunned for a moment, but only that. We quickly headed back into the wilderness and disappeared into that snowstorm, knowing that officially it would be reported that the family had perished in the explosion and fire. A few hours later we were back across the border and into our hidden vehicles heading back to our homes where we could celebrate Christmas with our families. Yes we had provided a wonderful gift to this family and while they were silent you could see that they were almost afraid to believe that they were safe.

The irony in all of this was that the nation that we had just snatched this family from, had, at one time, been a shining light for freedom. They had helped bring down governments less suppressive than the one that now ruled. But somewhere along the time line, the citizens got lazy, got complacent, and just let things go, and now they were paying a price for their indifference. This nation had become the new USSR, and had become as closed as that fallen nation ever had been. This used to be the United States of America, but its name might as well be written this way – “United States of Amerika”, since it more reflected its nature now. And we were their neighbor to the North – Canada, at one time working together as friends, but now enemies.

Published in: on July 6, 2013 at 8:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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Independence Day

Among all of the fireworks, camping, enjoying the time off, and for many the long weekend, we should probably take a little time to reflect back to the ones who created this nation and the sacrifices that they made. And to hammer out the document that became the underpinnings of this great nation was a miracle in itself when you consider that nothing like this had ever been attempted in the recorded history of nations. It was called the “great experiment”. There were many who wanted to follow the models of Europe, and others who would have made George Washington king. He absolutely refused.

While we traditionally accept July 4th as the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence it truly isn’t the actual date that it was ratified. But that really has no true significance in the passing of time. The important thing is that it was, and we eventually became the United States of America, instead of many small nations within the geography of this continent. Be aware that we only keep what we have, as far as our individual rights, as long as we stay diligent and keep our elected officials within the parameters laid out by the Constitution and the Amendments – especially the first 10. Our forefathers stated that these 10 were untouchable as they were the rights that all people were given – God given rights, and as such were untouchable by a government or its representatives.

We are in a time when much of what is written in those documents are under threat. It is up to us as citizens of this country, of this nation, to understand what is written there and to insure that our future generations continue to have these individual rights guaranteed in those writings. So please enjoy your time, but praise the ones in our past that made this happen, and be ever diligent to protect what they died to provide to us. Happy Fourth of July America!

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