Sunday, June 28, 2015
6/28/15 RMB Baby Goat
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
On a warm desert day, Teddy took me to Pioneer Town. She parked her car behind a guardrail, two wooden posts supporting a third. It looked like something from a western movie where a cowboy could swing the reins of his four legged companion, looping them around a couple of times, before he ventured into town. Touching it as I passed, it felt like history.
We walked down the dusty main street, browsing shops and visiting with her friend at the pottery store. The shop that sold goat soap, amongst other sundries, had goats out front. Teddy has an undeniable need to converse with every animal she encounters. Their damp noses lifted in greeting.
“It’s time to load them up and take ‘em home.” The owner said, as she held a baby goat for Teddy to pet. The lady paused before walking away. “Do you want to carry this one to the truck?” The baby was about as big as a smallish to medium sized dog.
Teddy’s eyes widened, “Oh, I’d love to.” So the little one was handed over. Teddy, joined by another goat on a short rope and the owner, walked to a nearby truck. The full grown goat joined others in a pen in the back.
“He goes in front with me.” A man said pointing to the little one, who was reluctantly relinquished. We said goodbye to all the goats and the owners too.
Three days ago, threatened by the nearby fire, Pioneer Town was under a voluntary evacuation. Photos, showing the Pioneer Town sign, with flames dangerously close, brought our goat friends to mind.
Since then the evacuation has been lifted. The fire is 50% contained. And I hope that the little one, who rode up front in the truck, is safe and sound. All my best to the people and other critters too, with many thanks to our firefighters.
All my best,
Saturday, June 27, 2015
6/21/15 RMB Diapers
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
Try as I might to avoid the nightly news, the town gossip and signs of despair, they leap out at me. Perhaps I am being cowardice in my avoidance. The meager amount that seeps through is overwhelming sometimes.
On corner after corner men and women ask for money. I support certain charities, the Salvation Army for one, but as a general rule, I don’t give out money to the passerby. My mother, as a general rule, always did. I don’t know why that is significant, but it seems it is.
In a grocery store a woman once came up behind me, put a few vegetables on the conveyor belt near my purchases and asked if I’d pay for them. It looked like it would only amount to a few dollars and for some reason I nodded. Everyone needs veggies to stay healthy. That made some sort of difference.
Yesterday a young man in a fast food restaurant asked me to buy him food. I declined. He was well dressed and appeared to have found a way of obtaining free food, by asking other patrons for it. He didn’t appear homeless, just bored. This is happening more and more often. The young man asked another. The other person bought him an ice cream cone and struck up a conversation with the lad.
I felt the lesser person for not helping him, but saw he needed the conversation more than the cone, something I did not have to give. Conversation does not come easy for me. Between the two of us, the young man and I, he is richer in that department.
Today, while shopping, a young man and woman passed by me briskly, she carried a bag of cooked chicken from the deli, he held a large box of diapers and canter of juice. As they approached the exit an employee ran up, “Don’t go out that door! I’m calling 911!” They went out the door. She placed the call.
I debated on following them and helping to apprehend those who threaten the regular commerce of our society. If they had hurt the woman, I would have. I started to, but only took one step before realizing that it was diapers and food that they had taken, not liquor and cigarettes. Somehow that made a difference. There was a child someplace out there in need of diapers and someone was hungry enough to steal for food. Maybe they had already asked for money and someone like me had said “no.”
I always feel there is another way, a method of earning one’s keep to cover needs and responsibilities, or a friend to ask for assistance. How can those other methods be made clear? How, as a society, can we help people be self-reliant and aid those who can’t be?
Thursday, June 18, 2015
6/15/18 RMB Bright Spots
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
In the span of a couple of days words of murder and mayhem bombard me, from television shows, books, social media, and the nightly news. Is our entertainment the dissecting of evil and distress or the overcoming it?
We live in a world where, by one form or another, lives are ended or burdened. Here and there are bright spots, the smell of roses growing in the garden, babies at play, a happy dog prancing about.
If life is ours to determine by what we focus on, how can we focus only on the good, if the rest surrounds us. And, as my good friend would point out, if we turn away, who will bring the light to those who suffer?
We fight the same types of wars our ancestors fought and suffer the same trials. I long to see more progress with more energy put towards bettering our position, by strengthening each other’s hearts while supporting each other’s endeavors.
Is this an impossible dream? What would make peace the ultimate prize? Does our greatest foe, live within us? Something tells me, as I struggle to contain my own frustrations, that once we unlock our individual peace, then we will find it collectively.