Tuesday, April 1, 2014

All the Great and Great-Greats Have Left Us

I grew up in a very family oriented family. That means that we always did things together and helped in any way we could. This closeness has existed with us for many generations. My Parents were as busy as most but we always found ourselves with our Grandparents, our Uncles and Aunts, and even our cousins. My Grandparents lived on a large farm and I find most of my youth and young adult-hood memories come from that location. I have written previously on the farm and will try not to repeat what has already been said. I wanted to introduce you to my subject before moving forward.

My Grandparents inherited the farm from their Parents, my Great-Great Grandparents. Both of their histories are so interesting. They lived in a time with no internet, they lived in a time where great minds were inventing the things we have today. They ate much less than we do today and worked much harder than we do today. They did their best or provide, not just for themselves, but for their children, for their children's children. They did this without breaking up the family in divorce though they were not perfect in their relationships. They stuck together though.

Today we buried the last of our Greats. This is the reason for my melancholy post. The Greats have moved to our Parents who will become the Great-Greats, bringing us to Greats. Time seems to be catching up with us. Do we have time to provide for our children and their children's children? We live in a time of broken families, a time of entitlement. Are we too late to teach our children they need to work for what they have? We have given them anything their heart's desire to a point. Though we sprouted from hard times, we were provided for but were taught to work and work hard for ourselves. We learned to save for what we wanted instead of it being handed to us. Our children have grown up and we hope they are not doomed to failure for spoiling them so.

If it is too late for our children maybe the best thing is for them to learn the hard way. Then teach them how to avoid the hard knocks in the future. Teach them how to work and work hard for what they want. Maybe it is time for us, the Greats, to buy some land. Land for growing up on, land for farming on, and most importantly land for feeding so we no longer rely on others in the world to feed us.

Maybe I am wrong and our children are much better equipped for the future that is moving quickly upon them. As a father, I worry about them though. I hope I haven't failed them.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Chess Fans?

I play chess on chess.com. I play at about 1850 on the site. These games aren't over the board but played in turns over days and months. You can really study before making a move. A lot of the people up on the site really know their openings. I studied the openings to a point but I like playing my own style of game. I fall into traps and zaps all the time because I don't follow the openings but I learn from them (well until I forget again).

I find myself doing really good and then equally really bad. I think it has to do with life and responsibilities. I end up making rushed moves instead of thinking more before making a move. My opponent always seems to take advantage of me during those times. When I play a great game, I always wonder why I can't repeat that every game. How can a person such as Kasparov rarely lose a game? Is it memorization or really good strategy? Most likely both.

I have always dreamed of being good enough to play against a master but I haven't reached that level of skill yet. Maybe someday :)

I just wanted to share that with you. Maybe you have better answers than I. Either way, Chess is a game/sport I will never tire of.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

New Family Dogs

I wrote about our puppies a while back (see The Spare Tire That Should'a Been). It has been a couple of years now and I have acquired two more dogs.

Our third dog was actually saved by a friend of ours when the dog ran out in front of her. She opened the door to get the dog off of the road so it wouldn't get run over. It jumped into the truck and she took it back to her house. A few days later my wife is over there with her sister and they got to plotting. I'm called and asked if I want another dog. I did not and said no. They asked me to come over and meet the dog before saying no. I went along with it knowing I would say no anyway. I walk in and sit in the floor. A white short haired and long legged dog runs over with a ball in her mouth. I start playing with the dog because I enjoy playing with dogs. You should have seen the wicked grins on the lady's faces. crack-russel Teensy They knew I couldn't say no now... they were right.

We take the dog home and our long haired Dachshund, the alpha of the two dogs we already have, would not leave her along. She would bark at her and get real vicious. We would have to hold the alpha and let the other two play together. For a couple of weeks this hateful behavior continued but finally subsided and then they started getting along, or at least tolerated. A week or so more and all three were playing well together. Don't tell the Dachshunds but my favorite dog is the long legged "crack-russel". That dog makes me mad because we can't keep it in the yard and we have a chain linked fence. She somehow finds ways of getting under it but through it all she is my favorite dog.

My wife's sister's daughter wanted a dog and rescued a black Dachshund. Roxy We visited and were introduced to the dog. It was a scrawny little black puppy with white feet and one white leg. The papers say she is a Dachshund mix. We visited a couple more times and the dog was still scrawny. My daughter comes up to me and asks if we can take the puppy home. It was very hard to do but I said no. She walks away and converses with the ladies for help. So they come back and I cave in. We take the dog home and the viciousness starts all over. We watch it carefully for a week and things start to settle down. We get the dog some food and it gradually starts filling out. She is very playful and I enjoy playing with her but she is a toy hog and I can't play with my "crack-russel" anymore. I find ways around it but my favorite dog doesn't want to play as much anymore. She still comes to me and gets in my lap though and we bond that way.

So counting them up, we now have four dogs and I am putting my foot down ... no more dogs! :)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Scared to Death

When I was 21 years old, I got married to a woman who had never been away from her parents. When she was young, her parents had divorced but remained close but did not live together. After we were settled in Altus, Ok where I was stationed, she started asking me about certain parts of her body. She was really worried something was wrong with her. The Hypochondriac's Pocket Guide to Horrible Diseases You Probably Already Have At first I checked her out real good but she kept on with it day after day. I didn't know what was wrong with her. I would tell her she was fine but nothing eased her worries. She eventually went to a psychologist to help her work through what was really bothering her. They prescribed her medicine to ease her worries. I had two years left of my four year term in the Air Force and this went on until I was out and we lived closer to her parents. I didn't realize any of this until years later.

It is miserable, not only for the person who thinks that they are about to get a disease and die, but for the people having to deal with the problem. You can tell nothing is wrong with them. You can tell them that but nothing convinces them. These people are labeled Hypochondriacs in the medical field.

Now, my family is dealing with this problem. My brother has started worrying about his health. He has been to the doctor and got all kinds of tests to prove nothing is wrong but he insists that something is wrong. Recently he had an anxiety attack and ended up in the emergency room thinking he was having a heart attack. I have told him he needs to get counseling but so far it is going in one ear and out the other. They did some tests on him to determine what was wrong with him but didn't find anything after a stress test and sonogram. Person carrying books with caption, Let's see which illness I have today! Still, he thinks they are missing something. If he doesn't seek help, he will most likely end up in the emergency room again.

As someone on the outside, there is nothing you can do to convince Hypochondriacs there is nothing wrong with them. It is on them to figure out they need to see a counselor. That is something my brother has not yet figured out for himself even though we keep telling him. It's almost like an alcoholic or drug addict who has to come to the realization that they need help.

If they get to where they are hurting themselves (scaring themselves to death), it is time to get psychiatric help by forcing them into it. It's not something anyone wants to do but sometimes it is necessary. I'm hoping my brother will realize he needs help and takes the first step.