July 19, 2017 – My Protectors
I lived in larger cities for most of my life, but I held to the memories of the country places I lived when I was younger. Most of my memories are from two of the foster homes, the first one and the last. In the first foster home, I lived in Fountain, Colorado which was just a small farm town at the time, probably around 1959. It was a cattle ranch that my foster father was the supervisor of.
It was peaceful and quiet with only an occasional car going down the road. We played in the water from the ditch in front, our foster father putting down a big board when the water would come rushing through after a rain, cause the water to overflow the front lawn and we would run and jump and splash in it.
I wasn’t afraid that there would be a water snake or a poisonous bug in the water. In fact we would run around the ranch barefoot all summer long, playing in the pastures, climbing trees, hiding behind the bushes and crawling through the grass. I don’t remember ever being bitten or stung by anything.
The last foster home was in Black Forest, Colorado. We made tree houses, climbed the highest trees we could find, holding onto the very tops, letting the wind sway us back and forth, and rode our horse daily and nightly during the summer, exploring the forest and country roads around us, and I don’t ever remember being afraid except for the night the horse got loose and we found out later a mountain lion had been in the pasture with us when we went to get them.
I didn’t worry about criminals in the dark, purse snatchers on the street or rapists waiting in the doorway of a building. I didn’t worry about being hit by a speeding car or a flying bullet. I didn’t worry about fighting with the neighbors, terrorists in our country or bullying on school grounds. None of this was happening in my life.
But I have experienced some of the above in my adult life and always when I lived in the city environment. I’ve been mugged at the counter in a drug store, snatched off the street I was walking down and, well, you know and have had guns actually pointed at my head, and lived in an abusive relationship for almost 20 years, and yes for many years I lived in fear.
I’m back in a country setting now, and while I know there is still a criminal element, even in this small town, I still feel safer than I ever did in the big city environment. I worry when I walk out the door, that someone is hiding in a stairwell or the doorway of a building next to mine, the neighbors would never allow someone trespassing on their property.
I don’t worry about a flying bullet from a drive by shooting, I don’t worry about getting into fights with the neighbors, and the chances of being mugged at the counter of a drug store do not exist. I always have my human protector, Rich with me and even when I didn’t realize, Jesus was always by my side, keeping me alive through everything else I have experienced. Today I am thankful for my protectors.
July 20, 2017 – The Hill
I love peaceful places. Places where you can drive, get out of the car and sit and just absorb nature. When I lived in Colorado as a child, depending on which foster home I was in or if I was at home with my mom, we would go up into the Rockies, climbing up the sides of smaller hills and mountains, playing in running streams, exploring the woods or just having a peaceful picnic.
When I lived in Ohio, I drove a lot through the Emerald Necklace, the Metro Parks area, just to get away from all the noise, pollution and congestion of the City. With one job, I traveled to different counties to research records in their court houses and I would map out the back roads to get there, often driving through the Amish areas and seeing some of the beautiful countryside that Ohio has.
When I lived in Florida, we would go driving on weekends or early evening, down to Clearwater Beach, over the bridges, down past Indian Rocks and sometimes all the way out to Passe Grille with the ocean always in view.
In Vermont, we would drive through the Green Mountains, over to Lake Champagne and take the ferry over to New York and wander through the beautiful countryside there, sometimes continuing on all way to Maine to have a lobster dinner.
I’ve explored allover in different places, here in Missouri, traveling down old country roads and across old rickety bridges, across serene and peaceful streams, sometimes kind of creepy but always peaceful and beautiful.
We don’t drive down the country roads anymore, we don’t trust the car outside of town and now that I don’t work anymore we just don’t have the money for gas. But doesn’t mean we can’t find peaceful places. Our peaceful place is the radio station hill. It’s just a few blocks down from the High school, but there isn’t much out there except for a house or two, the fair grounds and the radio station.
We park at the fair grounds and walk down past the radio station to the last drive of the fair grounds, and then up the hill to the first drive of the fair grounds. We’ve seen rabbits and birds and even a bobcat. We’ve saved turtles, looked at strange bugs and listened to the silence. It is our peaceful place to go now. Today I am thankful for the hill.
July 21, 2017 – Always There
Everyone has a story, filled with experiences, some good, some bad. Everyone has memories, starting from childhood and still being made each day of their lives. Everyone has had ups and downs in their life, some more than others.
So many have been victims of crime, abuse, violence, and loss. So many suffer from depression, PTSD, and a variety of physical and medical afflictions. It’s life, it goes on day after day and there are never any promises on what each day might hold.
One of the worse times for a person is when they feel all alone, when they feel that no one loves them, no one cares for them, no one is there for them. I felt that way for many years, being involved in an abusive relationship, separated from family and friends and feeling I had nowhere to turn.
While I’ve had my share of all the bad in this world, I have struggled through it. I’m still here, I am strong from all I have experienced, I’m still alive and life is good. I may not be rich or famous, nor do I really ever want to be, but I am content, I am happy and I am not alone.
It took a long time, until 1993 for me to realize that I had never been completely alone. There was always someone there, even though I didn’t notice them, even though I didn’t see them, even though I didn’t hear them. They were there watching and directing my steps to where I am today. In 1993, I went to church, the first time since I was in my teens. And after many altar trips, a lot of praying and a lot of crying I reconnected with the one who has always been there. Today I am thankful that Jesus is and will always be there for me.