The Farmer/Storyteller I know…

Meh – my brother hears my heart when I say, outloud, “I don’t know jack about farming, but how – the moist, brown furrows of earth in springtime make my heart swell in love – “

I wanted/still wish to be a writer – a storyteller – without even trying? My brother seems to be better at that too – – and yet, sometimes, he listens to my half-arsed stories, too –

but on one all consuming front – we both agree upon –

“Moral of the story? My Dad’s pretty tough!”

Blast from the past, here…

The story written, by my brother –

SnakeThe Tale of Dick, Harold and the Snake

by Dubin Truff  (the wrong name that got bestowed on my brother a few years ago, at some industry conference – we all find it funny -thus, that’s his ‘name’ now….)

For all who don’t know who the main characters of this story are, let me give you a little background.

I have always been amused when people get a person’s name wrong, so, a few years ago, when a customer of Dad’s called him “Harold”, I couldn’t help but laugh and immediately started referring to him as “Harold” myself. A short time later Dad, myself and my brother-in-law were riding in Dad’s pickup on the way to the store for some last minute Thanksgiving dinner items.

My sister and her husband were dealing with construction contractors as their new house was being finished, and he made the comment that he wondered if the plumbers weren’t cutting some corners.

I piped up with a grin, “Oh, we always cut corners, don’t we, Harold?”

Dad glanced at me sideways, without expression and said, “Speak for yourself, Dick.” This was the birth of Dick and Harold’s Plumbing Co. (disbanded four months later). The names never really stuck, but they made me laugh and I never forgot them.

The snake story goes like this: Dad and I were at a new home in the latter stages of completion, setting fixtures. When we arrived, the homeowners were not there, and we accessed the house through the garage, which was littered with an assortment of cardboard, plastic, and insulation. After hook-up and testing of the electric hot-water heater, which included multiple trips by both of us from the basement(where the hot-water heater was) to the unlit garage (where the main breaker panel was), we separated and tackled our respective tasks.

For me, this meant sprinting from room to room, first floor to second, as quickly and efficiently as possible, breaking fixtures and making as large of a mess as possible.

For Dad, it meant following steadily and patiently behind, fixing everything I touched.

After about an hour or so, as I was just finishing the drip-free hook-up on an upstairs bathroom lavatory for the seventh time, I heard one of the newly arrived homeowners shout from downstairs, “Devon, get down here and help your Dad!” You could hear slight panic in her voice, and I knew some crisis had unfolded. Or uncoiled.

I ran downstairs and into the garage to find the homeowners watching Dad as he surveyed a rather large rattlesnake writhing on the concrete floor. If it was large enough to evoke the discussion and debate that almost always happens wherever rattlesnakes are encountered (“Oh, that was too big; must have been a timber rattler!”), I can’t remember.

It was big enough to get my attention.

Harold and I quickly formulated our plan. It involved ten feet of ½” copper pipe, 22 feet of bailing wire and raw, god-given courage. I quickly found out that God must not have given me any, for when we had fashioned our snake lasso (double wire through the pipe to form a loop on one end and the other end to pull the slack tight once the snake’s head was in the loop) and I attempted to catch the snake, I wouldn’t get any closer than my end of the “ten foot pole”.

A ten foot stick of copper pipe is pretty squirrely when there’s a coward on one end and a pissed off snake on the other.

Try as I might, I couldn’t get the loop of wire on the other end around that snake’s head. After about a minute of this, Dad couldn’t watch any longer. “Oh for Christ’s sake”, he said as he walked past me, grabbed the business end of our snake-catcher, and steered the wire loop over the head of that rattlesnake. “Pull!” he shouted, and I needed no encouragement. I’m surprised I didn’t decapitate the reptile then and there I pulled with such gusto! The angry rattler was then dispatched with a shovel, the head was buried, and the rest was history. Without getting too long winded I will give you the moral of the story:

My Dad’s pretty tough.

The Day I learned to Lie –

I learned to lie the day I overheard a mother, talking to my mother –

What’s the story?

One mother, in that time/space, known to me, had a daughter, who was mother to 4 children/grandchildren – –

A daughter whose travels meant, she ran headlong into a battlefield of ‘shit shinola’ with an 18-wheeler –

A daughter in ICU – a daughter whose skull would spend the next few years being ‘bald’ and quietly, put forth the infected nodules of glass embedded so damn deep within, it seemed time would never allow the healing of such hits to actually work their way to the surface, be healed….

Did I know ‘that’ back when I was a mere tot?

Nope – in my memory – only – was the day I learned that sometimes, it’s okay to lie – even if my own parents said it NEVER was – not to get out of trouble, or by omission – etc…

I LEARNED that sometimes, it’s okay to lie to those we love – because of that mother – and her story as follows:

“The doctor pulled me aside before I could go in to be with my daughter – he said, “Do not give her a mirror – do not promise her anything that makes it easy for her to give up – she is touch and go and I can’t promise you anything – but you, if you love her? YOU WILL NOT give her a reason to give up…”

And that neighbor woman, of my child hood, listened to that, then walked into the ICU room of her daughter –

Held the hand of her daughter and with tears in her eyes and so many years later, confessed her ‘sin of lying’ on that day – for…when her daughter, in ICU, mother of 4 young children said,

“Mama, you’ll take care of my children, right? Promise me…you’ll take care of them….”

And my parent’s neighbor, talked about this, so many years later -to us – did she ever tell her daughter? I do not know – if her daughter stillalive, I figure 50 years of history will have softened the blow – your mama lied to you –

Because she summoned the courage to say, “No! I and your father aren’t in position to do so, and I’m sorry, but I cant promise you that, so you have to hold on, because I can’t do what you would do if you were here”

And then I heard, so many years later, the outpouring of anguish from a mother’s heart, saying , “I LIED to MY OWN DAUGHTER! I LOVED her, my grandkids, I would have done all she asked and more! But I couldn’t bear to tell her at the time and give her an easy way out – I needed her to be here, to much – so I lied…”

Yup – I heard that story when I was …what??? 6 years? 9 years old? But, to me?

That was the day, I learned, sometimes? It’s okay to lie to another – and, for good or ill?

To this day – when some folks tell me about how they ‘lied’ and when I discuss the times I ‘lied’?

I guess – really – I personally – am okay with ‘some forms of being a liar’ –

Which is why, for some folks?

I’ll go to Hell – but, for me?

I’m going to Hell for the Good Company of those who Love Another enough to Sacrifice themselves – thus, to me?

Um, yup, most likely, I”ll go to Hell, but I sure as shootin’ ain’t going there for ‘the weather’ – 😀

The Day I learned to Cry…

In my own, matriarchal, lineage,of strong women stories – there is the story of ‘soft hearted’ folks who ‘cried too easily” and they prayed to the Judeo-Christian God to be ‘strong enough’ to never cry, ever, ever, again, for any reason….

And, too, in that same lineage? Is the story of:

“I was out weeding the carrot plantings, and my heart hurt so much – I wanted to cry, but knew I couldn’t, anymore – cuz i had asked God to save me from being weak and crying – and my heart hurt so bad, I wished to cry – so I TRIED!

and I weeded the carrots – I TRIED to cry – to release the burden of my heart – and I found I could not – no matter how hard I tried to cry – and then I prayed to God, “Please, let me learn how to cry….”

Happy Women’s Day/Month – this is my share of the stories of the women of my lineage, who were a part of making me –

The Hermit and other Labels…

About two weeks or years ago (you know how hazy I am about ‘time’ passing) someone known to me from the time I was 9 months old on this earth, said to me,

“You need to write your book – you need to write! Why do you fear just writing?? Why can’t you just be You??”

She also, about an hour into our convo, said her piece to me, and then double-dawged dared me via:

“go ahead – give me the “Ya….but…..” answer”

I do so love her for hearing my heart and laughing with me over my own hypocrisy!

Self-Analyzation 101

Being of the personality type/nature/nurturing front? that is continually ‘intrigued’ by the human condition? I analyze meself often –

All against the backdrop of what I believe, I KNOW!

i.e. – this is what I know about me:

  • I’m like a ‘dog with a bone’ in pursuit of trying to understand fully, a bit better or even a SMIDGE better, something/someone than I did before [whatever] came onto my landscape to question was, heretofore, unquestioned ‘world view/self-view’ in my world
  • I’m rather naive or kindhearted regarding the overall nature of humans, just until, something horrific happens to them that can knock them off the path of their own higher angel of themselves – then? OMG! Call out the aide on all fronts, to save ‘this one who is in danger of losing themselves’
  • I’m a firm believer in redemption of a human spirit/life/soul, and yet, I do not believe redemption is a ‘once and done’ thingee – to me, every single bloomin’ day greets every human with the options of what they will ‘choose’ to be/do/try today – loving another more than ourselves, pain, suffering, torture, etc., etc., can drive the best of us into being the worst of us – it’s only by matter of pressure applied/matter of degrees we are willing to ‘degrade ourselves’ in-
  • I’m STILL not happy with a former mentor who chastised me long ago for ‘believing in’ the concept of ‘slippery slopes’ and who posited the theory such things do not exist – I bring this up once in awhile with him, AGAIN and over and over, and he says, in response, “I was just making the theoretical argument, why do you keep bringing this up?”
    • My answer? (See Dog with a Bone, disclaimer, above)
  • I believe in a Universal Force/Power greater than I – don’t care who calls it what – I believe there are more things in Heaven/on Earth than I will ever know, fully grasp or understand – that said – that nameless ‘entity’ I try to ‘grasp/listen to’ in my heart, my body, my mind? NEVER hears from me MORE than when I’m at the heights of joy or the depths of despair -if things are trucking out just about like I figured they would? Meh – how is that profound and why talk about it??
  • If I’m ‘arguing’ with someone else? You can place your sweet-bippy bet on the fact I’ve been arguing with myself, on the same durn thing – for awhile –

I’d Like to be a Hermit

The Pros of such a thing suits me – but, hard as I’ve tried to be, it just isn’t true or doable by me.

Even if I don’t post here – write here – don’t send note cards or email ‘letters’ or make phone calls to ‘just catch up with you, if you have time” – yeah – I can say, to myself, “I’d like to be a hermit” but it isn’t true –

I need deep moments of alone time – I get ‘discombobulated’ when more requests/needs come in to me, in one day – all with a 2.5 second world view deadline – than I have the brains, strength or patience to deal with – and on those days??

I YEARN for the hermitage of yore when hermits lived in a simple lil stone shed sized home, little garden plot fenced off behind and had lots of time to just sit around thinking, praying, reading and writing in a journal, etc., but it’s not TRUE or even doable, by me, just now – not really….

IF I try to do modern version of Hermitude?

I’m not only a hypocrite but a DAMN hypocrite….really.

Sigh – the fact that I’m not a TRUE hermit, much as I yearn after various portions of the ‘purported’ lifestyle may be, has, really, always been crystal clear to me…even if I have to remind myself, through refresher courses, here and there –

I’m a human bean –

In my ‘core world view’ always, thus far, forever, the only reason my ‘species/lineage’ has survived to ‘go forth and populate the earth’ is because – well – for the most part?

We ARE NOT hermits –

We are like any other ‘herd/pack’ pretty much – in my world? we most resemble horses and wolves/dogs – but, that’s just an amateuerish world view – to me? in human world?

The Hermit/Lone Wolf human type is judged as Outcast…

Just as much as it is in the natural world – and walking/loping along, until one finds the ‘herd/pack’ to which one belongs?

Is a harsh, brutal, lonely existence – –

Sometimes? It is necessary to do such a ‘by oneself’ walkabout/loping through the desert – in order to refine oneself through the fire of harsh times and in order to be more appreciative of the benefits to be had, if one is part of a ‘herd/pack’ –

A Golden Chain is only as Strong as it’s Weakest Link….

I recently learned folks I ADMIRE so much for their knowledge, their higher education, who ‘know more than I’ feel as if I’m judging them when I sigh and say, “I got good grades – was valedictorian of my class by a smidge -most likely would have been a life long student via fees paid, IF I could have seen anyway to NOT go into debt at the time – “

I was sharing, I thought, my heartache – my failure to ‘try just a bit harder’ or admitting my failure that my high school counselor said, I was ‘stupid’ if I didn’t just take out the loan and go to college – –

But that’s not how the other side heard it – –

They felt need to say, “I didn’t have that good of a GPA, now I feel bad…”

and I, personally, thought and said outloud,

“WHY? I WAS TRYING to laud you, your perseverance, your skills, your brilliance in all the things I fail at?? And I can look back and now see, if I had cared enough about doing ‘that one thing’ I would’ve worked until I died to get that higher, expertise, in one field, education – I was just sharing my world/past….WHAT Did I say that made you feel bad???”

(sob – I was sharing my failures as generalist, in attempts to tell you how much I admire your life, your struggles, your brilliance – how on earth did this become a ‘judgement’ that you heard????) – Oh, yeah – I’m sharing this one convo, because I’ve had SO MANY of these convos with VERY SMART, VERY GOOD at WHAT THEY do Women – since I was 15 years old – to this day – if they have a college degree? Um, yeah – pretty much – they get mad at me for sharing my ‘history’ on the matter as if I’m judging them over what I personally see as ‘wonderful’ and what I personally, count upon ‘them for’ i.e. “Hey! You know alot on this field, tell me, what am I missing???”

And yet, on other fronts??

Much as I vow to be a hermit – I can’t help myself – I reach out to ‘strangers’ or ‘community’ over and over – when I can’t deal with my own internal debates anymore – when I get tired of my internal debating committee acting like a dog chasing it’s tale or a snake consuming it’s tail – when I can’t answer or find the answer that makes sense to me or increases my knowledge of the world around me – all by myself….within…

Often? – The words of others who don’t ‘do this for a living’ is what helps me

The kindness and expert info in ‘this is what worked here, for us, but will be different for your neck of the woods” type of articles, news, blogs written?

Are what help me to calm me the f**k down – remind me, “I’m not alone in wondering about ‘this/that’ –

And so – maybe it’s their job – maybe they spend their ‘free time’ writing….

In the end, it helped me? Right? So how does me not writing, when I wish to, even if I suck at it, am right or wrong, educated/ignorant, asking questions or stating, “I truly believe this” – how is that a failure or waste of time?

There will always be those who will always believe I write/say/speak such things to make myself look good, and there will be those who think I’m stupid as hell and pickin’ a fight – and there will always be others who say,

“well…yes…but why do you feel the need to say it outloud?? Stop it! You’re embarrassing yourself/Us”

On the other hand – once in awhile?

There may be one person, who reads this, or something else I wrote and says,

“YEAH! me too! WTH is up with this???”

(they may cuss or be incredibly gracious and no cussing in the way they say so – to me? All the same, really – – some of us have potty mouths to make a point, some of us don’t – :D)

Thus, no matter how much I wish to not write/publish until I fully figure it out – come upon some ‘answer’ I think might work for most everyone, in every day life? no matter how much it hurts when folks label, judge, or, IMHO, mis-label me in broad strokes?

I might as well write – ‘waste time’ writing, as I wind through it all – for me and others…

share the houghts/research/experiential data – here/there, public or not – and work on what will probably, in the end, if ever before I die, the only WIP manuscript that has survived so many computers dying, hard drives failing, lost to ‘work’ cloud drives once I no longer ‘worked there’ but wrote something for the place I wrote for, at the time, until, I couldn’t deal with working and taking a paycheck from those who I could no longer support, anymore –

Ya know – that one thingee I may never publish for sale – but is always in back of my mind? The one thing that consumes every front/box of my life?

Inheritances, Grief – I can lose every word written/saved before, but I can recreate it, double check the ‘journey’ via my blog here, remind myself of the highs/lows/what was going on at the time’ when I wrote – back then – but the core of me?

Sadly, doesn’t change –

I am, to this day, with various tweaks here and there, a Child of my Inheritances and an Adult born out of Grief

I fully, really, realized today – being quiet kills me and if stifled? My need to be a human bean will manifest in hypocritical ways – –

I was reminded this past week, that there are folks who violently disagree with me, and I feel bad for ‘stressing them out, by asking once more, but, um, still don’t get it” who…once I go back through archives/organizational history?

Are so frickn’ gracious to me when I say, “Never mind! I figured it out! THIS is what changed/is different – sorry I made your life a living hell asking you over and over, what had changed.” – who said, they admired my integrity to seek the truth, even if it wasn’t what I wanted –

Um, every game has different rules – and well – yeah! I’ll ask over and over, “so, what changed?” when it seems the rules are different – as expressed by the same players –

I have a huge fear of mobs, fanatics and ‘the latest bandwagon’ –

Greater fear even, than my fear of rattlesnakes and viper pits- 😀

On the other hand – I have the UTMOST respect for someone who disagrees with me to point of hurting my feelings, but is gracious enough to say, “thanks for researching/sharing what you know, you have more knowledge of the institutional history of this than I and thanks for letting me know”

So what is the end of all of this story?

Well – the three main externals in this story?

All women –

some younger than I, some older than I. Two of them born on same durn day – though different years, but still, in some circles? Um, “Of course! They are the same zodiac sign” – 😀

– all of them so ever more bloomin’ smart on various things than I.

But always, always, the core truth of themselves, that I admire?

They show up to be both vulnerable and fight like hell, all at the same time.

Happy Women’s History Month –

which we will no longer need when women are seen as 1/2 of the human tribe (or 3/4 when the hotheaded young males go to war to ‘protect us all’, and then kill each other off over small slights….. whatever…..was deemed important enough to go to physical violence/war over – – sigh)

That said, I do think we need a ‘men’s history month/international day’ for all the times they may have gotten the lions share in history reporting, but are feeling not valued, now, today – cuz ya know…..

I have a lot of male friends/mentors in my ‘world’ too – they, too, are ‘human beans that are part of my ‘beloved/will fight for’ pack/herd – doncha ya know….

I have been ‘betrayed’ by men and women – I have been ‘championed’ by men and women – I am condemned/judged and/or supported/lauded by so many of so many different politics, religions, groups of ‘we hold this to be important’ – sigh – – –

If I don’t say so out loud? How on earth can anyone else feel safe to say, “Yeah, I’m fighting for this, but don’t you DARE broad stroke label ‘my friend’ on this front – they work day in, day out, to make the world better – and they defy, any national media label, you think you can brush over them!

So…says…I…. But, perhaps, I’m wrong, out of step – who knows?

But I had to say it, outloud – none the less – come what may – maybe, one other person, somewhere, will say, “Oh, thank goodness! I’m not alone on this….”

And that, in the end, is enough for me – and spending time on this stuff – 😀

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