Source: DOUBLEWIDE ON A HILL
DOUBLE-WIDE ON A HILL
My grandparents had a farm in Mercer County, West Virginia. They had a nice little valley surrounded by very tall hills, some would even say mountains. From about five on, I climbed those hills with regularity in the summertime. I spent at least two months each year on that farm until I was 16. The discovery of girls changed my attitude about quiet country living.
When I was 15 or so, I was standing on one of the hills on the western side of the valley. The day was clear, it was hot on the mountain top, and the sky was high and blue. You could see all the way to the Virginia line on the east side and at least to Welch on the west.
After sliding down the hillside, I met my grandfather on his way to the barn.
“Hey, Boy. You been up on the ridge?”
“Yep, you can see forever up there. Man, I would love to have a double-wide up on that hill with a nice big front porch and some rockers.”
“Listen, you got bigger fish to fry than a double wide on a hill. You need to get on with that book learning your momma says you’re so good at. You are going to work with your mind, not your hands and your back.”
“But Bud’s got a really nice double-wide and that pretty wife of his. Looks pretty good. Mine would be even better cause of the view.”
“Boy, you are just 15; what do you know about a view. Besides, Bud is an idiot—dumb as they come. His momma didn’t have very good taste in men. That whole Maddox clan over by Bluewell is dumb as posts and she married the dumbest of the lot. I know you think Bud is cool because he is your cousin and been in the Navy and he can’t help being dumb—it’s just part of who he is–just dumb.”
“Listen, Boy, no more talk of a double-wide. Make yourself useful and milk Betsy.”
I listened to my grandfather. But on particularly rough days in my calling as a financial advisor, I day dreamed about a simpler life on that hill. I could have married my third cousin, Bobbi, a really pretty blonde girl I was chasing after that summer. We could have had three or six kids and I could have worked on the railroad. What a view.
As things turned out, when she was in an alcoholic haze, Bobbi killed her husband with a long-barrel .357 magnum. My life is truly wonderful after all, market cycles included.
Source: THE CATERPILLAR
This caterpillar was crossing a roadway in my little retirement village. He was simply beautiful. I suppose I had always undervalued and underappreciated the caterpillar. This fellow was yellow and black and was moving at a slow steady pace. It seemed he had an objective to reach the other side.
I was fearful that he might be squashed by a passing automobile, so I stood around waiting for him to cross over. Several of my friends came by, stopped their cars to speak, asked if I was okay and then inquired about my purpose in directing the traffic this day. I told them I was protecting a caterpillar that was moving to the other side of the road.
One of them smiled and inquired, “As in relocating?”
“No,” I said, “He thinks the grass is greener.” The window went up and a broad smile appeared. Two bad jokes in a row.
This unusual dude had three pairs of legs and several leg-like appendages. He was also hairy in spots. He will be a butterfly soon.
Caterpillars are the larval stage members of the order Lepidoptera (the insect order comprising butterflies and moths).
As with most common names, the application of the word is arbitrary and the larvae of sawflies commonly are called caterpillars as well.
Caterpillars of most species are herbivorous, but not all; some (about 1%) like insects and may be cannibalistic. Some feed on other animal products; for example, clothes moths feed on wool, and hoof moths feed on the hooves and horns of dead cows, sheep and pigs.
Caterpillars as a rule are voracious feeders and many of them are among the most serious of agricultural pests. Many moths are best known in their caterpillar stages because of the damage they cause to fruits and other agricultural produce, whereas the moths are obscure and do no direct harm. Conversely, various species of caterpillar are valued as sources of silk, as human or animal food, or for biological control of pest plants.
Most likely, this was more than you wanted to know, but the caterpillar is one of God’s interesting and unusual creatures.
PATRICK HENRY was born on May 29,1736, in Studley, Virginia. Studley is an unincorporated community in Hanover County, about 12 miles northeast of Richmond. His “GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!” was the spark that ignited the Revolution in Virginia.
But the influence of “The Voice of the Revolution” was greater than that. He was the first to raise his voice against England for taxation without representation. He led the attack against the Stamp Act in 1765, as well as being a leader in every protest against British tyranny and every movement for colonists’ rights afterward. He helped draft the Virginia Constitution and the May 1776 declaration favoring independence. He was the first governor of Virginia. He opposed the Constitution for fear that it would lead to centralization and then led the fight for a Bill of Rights as a guarantor. He was offered posts as Chief Justice and Secretary of State, which he turned down because of failing health.
All most Americans today know about Patrick Henry is his most famous quote. But he was central to our heritage, both as an advocate of the principles of liberty and as a participant in the revolution that made our nation a reality. Honor him by reflecting on his commitment to liberty.
- The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government–lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.
- Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
- Liberty is the greatest of all earthly blessings…the dearest rights of man…the time has been when every pulse of my heart beat for American liberty; and which, I believe, had a counterpart in the breast of every true American…
- Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel.
- …you ought to be extremely cautious, watchful, jealous of your liberty; for instead of securing your rights, you may lose them forever.
- …liberty ought to be the direct end of your government.
- When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of America was different: liberty, sir, was then the primary object…our glorious forefathers…made liberty the foundation of everything…
- …those nations who have gone from a simple to a splendid Government? What can
- No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by…frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.
- [Do not] bind our posterity by an improvident relinquishment of our rights.
We give little thought to whether our founding fathers would consider us worthy of the name Americans, in our commitment to liberty. But Patrick Henry would face us with that question. With liberty still contested day after day in America, let’s remember these words of Patrick Henry.
ALCOHOLISM SELF-ASSESSMENT TEST
The following questions have been formulated as a tool for assessing signs of alcoholism.
Want to find out if you are an alcoholic, take the test.
- In the last year, have you driven under the influence of alcohol, even just a few drinks?
- Do you consume more than 7 alcoholic beverages a week?
- Do you drink heavily when you are disappointed, under pressure or have had a quarrel with someone?
- Do you hide your drinking from any friends or family?
- Have you failed to keep a promise to yourself or a loved one that you would quit drinking?
- When drinking with other people, do you try to have a few extra drinks when others won’t know about it?
- Are more than 50% of your friends’ drinkers?
- Do you find it difficult to stop drinking after one or two drinks?
- In the last year, have you done anything while drinking that you regret?
- Are you more in a hurry to get your first drink of the day than you used to be?
- In the last month, have you had a drink in the morning to help recover from a hangover?
- Do you often want to continue drinking after your friends say they’ve had enough?
- Have you tried switching brands or drinks, or following different plans to control your drinking?
- Have you ever encountered difficulties remembering what happened while you were drinking?
- Have you ever had a DWI driving while intoxicated or DUI driving under the influence of alcohol violation, or any other legal problem related to your drinking?
- Do you sometimes have the shakes in the morning and find that it helps to have a little drink, tranquilizer or medication of some kind?
- Do you ever feel depressed or anxious before, during or after periods of heavy drinking?
- In the last 3 months, have you continued drinking until you became unconscious?
- In the last year, have you urinated or soiled the bed or your clothes during or after drinking?
- Have you ever awakened after drinking in a strange place or at home, without remembering how you got there?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be at the start of a problem.
If you answered “yes” to 3 or more questions, you have a problem with alcohol and are most likely an alcoholic. Spending $9 on the book, NO MATTER WHAT!!, will be the best money spent in the last year. It will provide a way to stop before tragic consequences surface.
If you answered 5 or more questions with “yes” you are an alcoholic and you need help. It’s not too late. Read the book NO MATTER WHAT!! and you will get answers. Next, find an AA meeting and go—save your life! YOU CAN GET SOBER!!
HELP IS HERE!!!
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