Friday Firesmith – My Grandmother’s Church

My mom moved in with me several months ago, and I can remember her hauling me to Sunday School every Sunday to go to my grandmother’s church. Grandma taught Sunday School, and the preacher at her funeral had been one of her students, when he was a child. That must have been a strange experience for the man, to stand there to say words for a woman who taught him what they meant, and he did a good enough job. It was cold and rainy, so he made it as short as he could have, and still said what he thought needed to be said.

The church was a cold edifice, in the winter, because most of the members of the church were famers, county folk, hardened by poverty and their own homes were not overly warm. These were people who made quilts out of necessity, not because it was some symbol of their pastoral roots. There was no pretense to their clothing, their mode of transportation, or their faith. They had what they had, and it was enough. Having enough was something that was a very good thing. Tthen there was some for those without, and those without were never far away.

Their god was a personal thing, like a neighbor, or a family member, a parent, or grandparent, and the world they lived in harbored very little deceit. There was very little theft, and adultery, where it did exist, was very carefully hidden. Everyone went to church every time the doors opened. There was hardly any spare time in the lives of farm people past hard work and worship. The ground opened to receive the dead, and to produce the bounty, what there was of it.

My grandmother’s house, the one she shared with my grandfather, was wired for electricity in the mid 1960’s. They got an electric well about the same time. There were very few inside lights, even then, and no outside lights, so a trip to the bathroom, even the one inside, was an adventure. A trip to the outhouse during very cold weather might be memorable.

You know what you’ll never experience? You will never walk out into total darkness with nothing but stars in the sky, and realize, that’s enough. You’ll never push the bucket down into the well, with the reflection of the stars shimmering in it, and hear the sound of the pulley squeaking, and sound of the bucket hitting the water, and the sound of the winch as the bucket is pulled up again. Once, nearly every person living in the county had drank water, from a dipper, under the light of the Big Dipper. The spare moments of a person’s life were found here, under the light of the Milky Way, drinking pure water uncontaminated by progress.

I’m not here today to question where there is a god or no god, or many. I’m not here to question your salvation, for if such a thing truly exists, I would think that’s a personal thing between you and whatever god you’re looking to save you from whatever you feel you need saving from. I’m here today to simply say that the overwhelming population of people in America who lay claim to being “Christian” would not have been recognized as such, in my Grandmother’s Church.

Take Care,
Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – Iraqi Exit

It’s hard to estimate what the Unites States has spent in Iraq. We’ve built dams, bridges, roads, hospitals, and we’ve created military bases everywhere. We’ve trained their military. We’ve educated their officers. We’ve funded and armed their air force, their army, and their version of the CIA. We’ve given them surveillance capabilities to spy on their arch enemy Iran, who incredibly enough, aren’t enemies with anymore. The Iranians have armed troops inside of Iraq acting on behalf of Russia, supporting those factions who seek to expel Americans from Iraq.

Trump’s assassination of a member of the Iranian government, inside Iraq, now makes expelling the Americans a lot easier for the Iraqi government. It’s given them a clear reason to do so. Even if they do not, they will not trust Trump to behave in a manner that is conducive to peace.

If America moves out of Iraq, we leave behind billions, if not trillions of dollars in military and intelligence assets. Every Iraqi we recruited as a spy, at any level, will be open to exposure once we are gone. Everyone we had in that country who we could count on, like the Kurds, will be betrayed. Every device, every camera, every protocol that we had in place will now be subject to examination by forces hostile to the United States.

If you thought the exodus from Saigon was messy, wait until you see the last chopper out of Baghdad.

The Iranians and the Russians will move into our evacuated military bases and they will inherit, without firing a shot, billions of dollars of infrastructure. They’re likely to find thumb drives and laptops, weapons and ammunition that were left behind in the full and hasty retreat America makes from yet another ally. Every piece of military equipment in the Iraqi army will now be a proxy of Iran, and Russia. The largest and strongest, and best equipped military force in the Middle east will belong to the Russian/Iran coalition. The dream of a Shiite Superstate, with Russia’s full backing, with be fulfilled.

The oilfields of Saudi Arabia, and the holiest cities of Islam, lay just across the open, and now totally unprotected, desert. Israel cannot be defended from an attack that has inside information on America’s command and control, from an aggressor using American technology, and attacking with American weapons, using information gathered using American techniques and systems.
The Iranian dream of wiping Israel from the face of the Earth is within reach, and there is nothing short of a nuclear response from America stopping it. And even that means setting off nuclear weapons so close to Israel there will be no victory.

There will be no NATO response. There will be no “Coalition of the Willing”. There will be no united force to stop Russia from taking over in the places where America abandons its assets and allies.

Trump has sown the wind. We will reap the hurricane.

Take Care,
Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
 
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.
 
 

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Friday Firesmith – High Attitude

“You’re going to run out of options at that point,” the Surgeon told me. The various scenarios that led to happiness and good health were there, but there was a darker side to the conversation. There were things happening to me, that if they kept happening to me, there was not going to be anything left to prevent things from getting worse. Getting worse meant the worst. I would die. This could kill me. It was an odd conversation to have five hours after a doctor’s appointment that was supposed to end in a conversation about hernias.

Clearly, I lived. Right after I came to from surgery, I woke up to the idea that I had dodged a bullet, or at least had a small group of people push me out of the way of the bullet. I was hooked up to an IV tree, had a catheter in the end of my penis, and had a tube running down from my nose into my stomach. There was a scar the size of a good sized snake running from my groin to my upper abdomen. I could not have been happier.

From where I sat, or rather lay, things were incredible good, and a hell of a lot better than they had been the previous day. There is no way I can explain the joy of a surgeon coming in and telling me that the operation was 100% perfect. Textbook perfect. Complete success. No problems or issues at all.

It was a pain in the ass to deal with the bevy of nurses coming in and out of my room at odd times of the morning, noon, and night, but I decided to greet each and every one of those people cheerfully, and I did. Why wouldn’t I? At what point was the inconvenience of lack of sleep, the blood taking, the blood pressure, or even the nurse who woke me up checking to see if the box of gloves was full or empty, weighed against the fact that I came into the hospital not knowing if I would leave alive or not?

Standing up was painful. But I walked every day, or close to it, just to prove I could. I wanted the nurses to know I was trying. I wanted to show the world, and myself, I was going to try to get better. Yes, they were getting paid to be there, and I was paying to be there, but at some point they have to know you’re doing your part in the process.

But here’s the thing, and there’s no getting around it: Why not?

Why not go into the hospital with the plan of having the best attitude you can have? Yeah, you’ve been cut, you’re in pain, and you can’t take a shower, but why not be happy? Why not feel joy in being alive? Why not go into the fight in a state of total bliss that you’re still alive and still capable of feeling any damn thing at all?

Misery, even under those conditions, of no sleep, of endless blood taking, of countless visits by nurses night and day, misery is still your choice. It takes a lot of effort to get past that, but what else are you going to do? Why take people down to your level when you can take them up to your level? It’s your decision.

I’m glad to be alive today. I’m happy I survived. I had more than one nurse tell me I had the best attitude of anyone they had ever met, and maybe they tell everyone that, but I’m here to tell you this: being here to tell you this is an incredible thing.
Never forget it.

Take Care,
Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
 
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.
 
 

Friday Firesmith – 2019

Hello everyone, and welcome to the last Friday Firesmith of this year. 2019 was an interesting year, to say the least, and it’s not over quite yet.

This was the year I sent my sister’s dogs, The Cousins, back home to her. I made room for Wrex Wyatt’s return to me, and the adoption of Budlore Amadeus, The Dog Left Hanging. Tyger Lynn was killed. I knew she would be, one day, by something. That dog had a violent streak in her that defied training and logic. Tyger never found peace in this life, or in her death, and perhaps, there is something past this life, where she will. I miss Tyger Lynn. I wish I could have healed her, and made her whole again.

Mom moved in with us here at Hickory Head in 2019. That kicked off the creation of her studio, formerly known as ‘The She Shed”, and also kicked off renovations that would make her life easier here. We built a ramp for her to get into and out of the front door, with ease. We also built a walkway for her to get from the backdoor to the studio withot having to cross over the yard, which is full of roots and things that might trip an aging Mom. We built a patio in front of the studio so Mom could paint outside in nice weather. Mostly, all of this made Mom feel like there was a part of this house that belonged to her, and she belonged here.

Budlore, who has never been fully social, adopted Mom the moment she walked through the door, and he has not left her side since. Self-appointed Protector of the Mom, and Lap Dog extraordinaire, Bud made Mom feel as if he were waiting for her arrival, and there would always be someone watching over her. Delivery people and would-be evangelists have discovered that Budlore Adamateus doesn’t have an off switch and he doesn’t give a damn. The Mom will be protected. Is Bud serious? He sure looks like he is. I’ll take it.

Retirement snuck up on me in 2019. It’s something that’s been kicked around for the last year or so, and with Mom here, I made the decision to jump. I think it’s the best thing I’ve done for myself in a very long time. I do not miss working for the man.

And then there were my health issues, late in the year. I wound up hospitalized and operated on. Health scares are always good for the soul if not the body. You have to think about what’s important in your life when someone points out that the end could be one bad judgment away.

However, if I had to pick one event in the last year that made the biggest impact, I would have to say Mom moving in was the best thing that has happened to me in a long time. I get to watch her art move forward in a manner it has never before, and I get to spent time with Mom, now.

What’s the biggest thing in 2019 that happened to you?

Take Care,
Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
 
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – Surgery

On Sunday night, December the 8th, a fever raged inside my body, without any clear cause for it. The last week prior or so was spent with an unsettled feeling, my digestive system wasn’t happy, and I didn’t have an appetite at all. I have two hernias below the belt, wherever my belt is now, I lost it in all the shuffle, and I assumed all pain and suffering was due to those issues, the hernias not the belt. So I made an appointment with the doctor for the 10th, and Monday wasn’t such a bad day. I still wasn’t hungry so I went the day resting, but not eating. Hell, they might work on the hernias on the 10th so there was no reason for me to do anything that would slow down the process.
I have, or rather, I had, a certain disdain for the medical profession. You walk in, they give you pills, you walk out and come back to get more pills. The PA was a very young woman who looked twelve years old, but there were a couple of things. The first is she immediately didn’t believe the pain and the hernias were related. The next thing was she ordered bloodwork. She talked me into a CT scan of my guts. I gave the blood and then went to be processed by the scan people. It was a very warm day, eighty degrees outside, but I felt like I was freezing; my body couldn’t regulate my temperature.
The PA called me: Mr. Firesmith where are you right now?
Me: At the scan place. I have to drink the Kool Aid to get scanned.
PA: Do not leave until you see me again. Your white count is through the roof. (Her voice was sharp and professional.)
Me: What does that mean?
PA: You are a lot sicker than you think you are. You have an infection. If we don’t get the white count down your kidneys could stop functioning.
Me: What?
PA After they do the scan bring me the file, please.
Me: Can I go get something to eat first?
PA: No, I’m trying to get you admitted to the hospital. I’m trying to find a surgeon.
Me: What?
PA: Listen to me. If we can’t get your white count down you’re going to lose your kidneys.
Me: Whoa.

I get scanned and for the first time Perforated Diverticulitis is said aloud. There’s a hole in my colon and it’s leaking raw sewage into my body. The PA has the hospital waiting for me, and she found a surgeon for me, too. I walk into the hospital to find people waiting for me there. Bloodwork, IV, and then there’s the surgeon.
The surgeon is a young man with the attitude of a gunslinger. He’s professional yet friendly, but he’s also looking for a fight. He tells me I have two problems, both of which are intertwined. My WBC is rocketing. I have an open sewer in my body. He can’t go in to close the sewer until the WBC comes down. But this is a man who has a plan: Put me in a hospital bed, and flood my system with antibiotics. Bring the count down in two, maybe three days, and then go in with the knife.
This is a starkly honest man: The count keeps getting higher and my kidneys die. I’m too old to hope for a donor. Dialysis will keep me alive, but the white count is, in and of itself, enough kill me. How soon? If it keeps climbing? Very soon. We’ll put you in ICU and hope we can save you.
The upside is I haven’t eaten in three days. The sewer isn’t leaking into my system because there’s nothing there to leak, or at least not as much. For the first time in my life, I am in a hospital, and I’m staring down some cold hard truths about the future.

At seven the next morning the surgeon returns with light in his eyes. Your WBC dropped twenty percent. Let’s go. We go in, shut down the sewer, IV you with antibiotics, and we fight a one front war that we’re already winning.
Okay, when?
Now. I have a team in place.
Now?
Right now.
The man’s optimism is infectious, and if I am going to die, it’s going to be fighting, not waiting.

Two hours later, I wake up in a bed, stoned as hell, and I can feel it. The surgeon returns, once again, shakes my hand, and tells me the operation went perfectly. Everything went perfectly. They took my plumbing out, cleaned everything out, and soaked it. The infected area was cut out and the gap stitched together. Perfect is a word that keeps coming to mind.

Chances of survival? The question startles him now. Good, very good, damn good, we got it.
That was Wednesday, December the 11th. I spent five days in the hospital, and every day the WBC was lower than the day before. That twelve year old looking PA saved my life. She went above and beyond trying to figure out a problem instead of assuming the patient, me, was right. The woman had me in a hospital room with a knife fighter before I even realized what was wrong.
The surgeon did something few medical professionals will do; he changed his mind about what he was going to do, when new data arrived. The man pounced on an opportunity to go in and kill a problem quickly. Both of these medical professionals were able to talk me into doing something that needed to be done, and quickly. They went after this thing like it was personal. I’m alive now because of this.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is mf-surgery.jpg

I’ve got one hell of a scar and some pain. But I am quite alive, and I feel better right now than I have in a very long time. I’ll be down for a while yet, but the wound is clean, and I’m taking it easy.

I’m alive. I’m alive. Someone told me I might not be, just over a week ago, and I felt it. But not this time, Death, may be soon, but right now, I am alive.

Take Care,
Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
 
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – Your Right To Be Stupid

Back a while ago, Toyota had a problem with “unintended acceleration”. That meant you could be cruising down the road and your car, or truck, would suddenly speed up for no good reason. People were killed, maimed, and freaked out, and Toyota eventually blamed all of these accidents on floor mats. One of the first press releases said there was no “third party involvement” which meant they didn’t think anyone hacked into the vehicles’ computers and set them going really fast.

That’s another subject for another day. That’s going to happen sooner or later, you heard it here first.

But Toyota sent a guy to speak with the people at NPR, and he said something truly remarkable. He said even if it was a computer problem, and that computer problem had killed a dozen people, we were all still infinitely better off with computers in control than human beings. Human beings, the man went on to say, at their very best, are more dangerous than computers at their very worst.

I have to agree with him.

Smallpox, polio, rabies, and a host of truly horrible diseases have been kept at bay by vaccinations for decades now. No reputable doctor anywhere on this earth has ever drawn a correlation between vaccines and anything that harms human beings. And even if, in rare cases, people are hurt or killed by vaccines, we are infinitely better off with a vaccinated population than one that is not. There’s a vaccine being tested right now that might kill breast cancer in patients who have it, and prevent women from developing the disease.

Yet even as we speak, or read, or communicate via the net, there are people fighting tooth and nail to keep kids from being vaccinated against HPV, the virus that causes cervical cancer in woman. As the vaccinations move forward, cancer is being prevented, and the numbers prove it.

The Mayo Clinic on HPV Vaccinations

Cancer is pretty much the worst thing that can happen to you. Vaccinations, are not. Where’s the issue here?

You have an absolute right to be stupid. You can believe anything you feel like believing, and at the end of the day, belief is that and nothing more; it’s something you feel. You can discount thousands of doctors and millions of people who are not adversely affected by vaccines, and you can send your kid to school, where other kids with stupid parents, will spread diseases among themselves, like participation trophies at the Darwin Awards.

My mom didn’t get the polio vaccine as a child, and the disease nearly killed her. We’re fortunate she can walk. For every person out there not getting the flu shot every year, and getting the flu, they’re keeping alive a disease that kills 30,000 people every year.

That’s the math on this thing. If you can take some sort of risk for you, your kids, your family, your friends, and the rest of society, to help combat a disease that kills 30,000 people a year, what exactly is your reward for not doing this?

I’m all ears.

Take Care,
Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
 
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Firesmith has surgery

Mike Firesmith had emergency surgery yesterday after perforation of a diverticulum in his innards. He’s already up and walking the halls. He says he feels like “Death warmed over” but he won’t let that keep him down.

We have two weeks’ worth of Friday Firesmith on file so he doesn’t have to worry about that for a little while.

Friday Firesmith – Beds

Twenty something years ago Mom bought herself a bed. Sounds like a long time, sure, but most people are fairly happy with their beds and don’t change often. I’ve had the same bed now for over twenty years myself, but I’m thinking about an upgrade. A king sized bed would certainly mean more room for me and three dogs. Mom’s old bed was one that lifted the foot and head of the bed, with a remote, and never faltered or failed, which I find impressive.

Shopping for beds was interesting. The first salesman we spoke with at a place we saw a good deal was fired by the time we got back. We backtracked, because shopping online isn’t Mom’s thing, and when we were talking prices with the young salesclerk, she added the price of the base and the mattress wrong. I knew it was wrong, because I once worked with math every day, and told her so. She looked at her cell phone as if it were a Holy Relic and said, “Well that’s what it is.” But no. She recalculated and was surprised she was over a thousand bucks wrong.

So we buy the bed and wait for delivery. The appointed hour arrives, and the guys in the truck huddle up to discuss strategy. One of them gets out to inform me that they forgot the mattress. They have to go back and get in, and it will take every bit of two hours.
This isn’t going smoothly, have you noticed? First guy gets fired, second salesperson doesn’t understand numbers, and now this.

Dinna Fash.

Life isn’t about perfection. I tell the guys it’s okay if they stop for lunch, just get it here today, and they seem a little stunned I’m not pissed. Why bother to be angry at this point? It’s not going to make them go any faster and it’s not going to help me at all. They return with all they need and set up goes very well indeed. I help Mom put the sheets on and the new comforter and suddenly, Mom has a roomy new bed, and Budlore Amadeus is impressed. But the old bed, It’s like a relic from a different age, and weighs three or four billion tons. Getting it out by myself isn’t a problem because all I have to do is push it out of the back door, and load it into my truck from the walkway to the Studio (Formerly known as the She Shed) so that’s easy. We’re giving it away to a friend who has health problems, and so away I go.

The problem is this: the guy with health problems has gotten worse. He can’t help me unload the bed at all. His sister is there, all one hundred pounds of her, but that’s all we have. Between the two of us, we get it off the truck, through the porch, up some steps, through two rooms, and finally, get it set up.

This is a guy who has been sleeping in a recliner for several years now because he has breathing issues. Last night, he got to lay down in a bed he can sleep in, read his books, and basically, feel like he’s living a normal life again. The television is in view, so he can watch movies from his bed. He thanks me over and over again and when I get home he calls me and thanks me again.

In all of this, remember nothing went the way it could have. One lesson could be no good deed goes unpunished. Or we could look at life as a series of events that allow us, at any given time, to rise above it, even if my left leg is killing me right now.

Take Care,
Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
 
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.
 
 

Friday Firesmith – Black Friday

By the time you read this someone will be murdered. Someone who waited in line at Mal-Wart, or Best Buy, or some other retail store will have been trampled, shot, beaten, stabbed, run over in the parking lot, or maybe even died of exposure in line, simply to have more stuff. More stuff. There’s never enough stuff. There’s always some yearning to have more things. We have to have more inanimate objects in our homes, and maybe then, perhaps, we will find happiness, and we will be grateful for it.
But first, someone has to die.

We’re discounting entirely the people on the road, checking their cell phones, speeding, drinking, stoned, and fueled by haste and anger and desperation, (Thanks Aimee!). No, we’ll leave traffic deaths outside the parking lots as collateral damage. We’ll leave them out over there with those people who are filling up their souls with pills and cheap alcohol, as well as overeating. They’ll die slower, maybe even years later, but we’re talking Black Friday, Baby, and someone has to die.

Think about the world, no, that’s inaccurate, think about the Unites States, fifty years ago. Not everyone had a television, and almost no one had more than one. Each house might have had one phone. Most households had one car. There were never more than two or three channels on television. And all the stores were closed the day after Thanksgiving.

But now everyone has a phone, and there’s two or three televisions in each house. There’s two or three cars, and everyone has to have their own music. Each individual has become their own universe, their own little world, with each track on a playlist specific in its existence, and each movie on the phone exclusively for the person who has the device, which no one else will ever use.

This is system fed by desire, the empty space in our souls where there once was interaction between people, and especially between people we cared about, but that disappeared long ago, when people of the same family could watch different televisions, and then, afterwards, they couldn’t talk about the movie they just watched, because they weren’t tuned into the same channel.

More than anyone else you will ever meet, or not meet, I am a product of this system. I could go for weeks without speaking to another human being and happily so. I am the guy you read about who had all his bills on autopay and died ten years ago but no one missed him. Short of my mother outliving me, this isn’t at all out of the question. In a sky full of stars, no matter how close they appear, most are many millions of miles away from one another.

The only thing I can tell you right now is I’m getting rid of stuff. I’m donating things and tossing stuff out, and it doesn’t matter to me what goes. It all has to go. I’m back in Dog Rescue, helping out with other charities, and I’m leaving my phone in the truck more often now. I still don’t like people, but I’m looking for those more like me, and I’m discovering we’re a larger proportion of humanity than I expected.

He’s dead, Jim. That person wanting more stuff at half price was kicked in the head by someone else wanting stuff, and now we have the body count for Black Friday. It’s a very human number, with each person there before dawn, leaving their family behind in more ways than one, for stuff.

I’m walking away.

Take Care,
Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
 
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.
 
 

Friday Firesmith – I Hate Christmas

There was a time when the holidays, any holiday, had a certain time period that it existed. Halloween started gearing up about a week before the event. Kids got out of school the week of Thanksgiving, and that’s when everything really started feeling festive. Christmas trees went up after Thanksgiving, but shopping didn’t start until the kids were out of school again, about a week before December the 25th.

There was a sense of ease and timelessness around the end of every year. People visited other people, ate too much, but there wasn’t the frenetic activity that is experienced today. There was always more food than we could eat, but now, in some ways there seems to be excess in the name of excess. People buy more food than they cook, and who can blame them? There isn’t enough time anymore. Instead of that feeling of drifting towards Christmas and New Year’s, now there’s a race, a competition of sorts, and may the odds be forever in your favor.

Christmas stuff starts appearing in stores right after the 4th of July now. Stores that you’d normally not think of getting seriously involved in Christmas, like the big box hardware stores, devote a lot of floor space to decorations and blow up Christmas displays. All of this stuff is made in China, all of it is cheap plastic sh!t with a short life span, and none of it really means anything except some sense of excess.

Christmas used to be about decorating in a manner in which might be finished in a few hours, mostly people had wreaths or some sort of manger scene on a table, and it wasn’t unusual for the decorations to be handmade, passed down from family to family. Children were encouraged to make tree ornaments. Simple pine cones were painted and glitter might be added. Some people made crocheted items for trees. It was a time for people to come together without an agenda or something driving them to do something. Parties were casual and people drank too much, but there was never the need for anesthesia the way it’s needed now.

As kids, we knew what we wanted, and we knew what was likely, and we never really considered the idea someone else had more, or would get more, or that we were getting less. Christmas morning was fun, the gifts we received were solidly built, and rarely needed batteries. Books were great gifts, incredible and magical, as were gifts that ran off of imagination. There was a time when the wonder of a gift came from the mind of a child, not the processor inside a machine.

I cannot convey in words language strong enough to tell you how much I hate Christmas. It enrages me that China makes billions of dollars off Americans who are blindly addicted to going to Mal Wart and getting screwed out of their money in the name of predatory commercialism. I hate that children are being raised by television commercials and they’ll spend the day after Christmas on social media, immersed in a world that kills their creativity.

I hate Christmas. I hate the holidays. I grieve for the times when there was time, simply to be.

Take Care,

Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
 
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.