A True Love Story

A True Love Story.

Okay I finally finished “The English Patient” it was like watching “Titanic” in the desert. It was a good movie, maybe better than good, the acting was top shelf and cinematography was fantastic. “The English Patient” was a long, slow moving story of pain and suffering, in which the main characters all die tragically.  However, there were brief glimpses of love fulfilled so that true love was allowed to blossom and grow into something beautiful, and then it was snatched away by circumstance. Shakespeare gave us the first tragic love story in “Romeo and Juliet” and mankind has been remaking it ever since.  While Titanic was basically the same story only it took place in the North Atlantic, “The English Patient” was your typical, sappy, tragic love story that took place in hot Sahara Desert. But, if you want a true and wonderful love story you will have to turn to “King Kong.”

The problem with both “The English Patient” and “Titanic” was that there was no monkey. You’ve got to have a monkey to make a really good love story. Even one of the greatest love story movies of all time, “Casablanca” had a monkey. Right in the opening scene when the camera and narrator were showing, and telling the audience what life was like in war torn Casablanca, one of street merchants had a monkey wearing a fez. In “King Kong” this huge, ugly monkey fell in love with this blond bombshell, Ann Darrow. Ann first met Kong on a visit to his island, Ann and her soon to be boyfriend, John Driscoll arrived on Kong’s island with a film crew. Ann was immediately attacked and about to be devoured by a Tyrannosaurus Rex, but Kong saves her by killing the prehistoric beast. It was the first time that Kong had seen a white, blonde woman and was instantly taken by her beauty.  Anxious to show Kong off to his rich friends, the movie director, Carl Dennem captured the huge gorilla and packed him on a ship to New York. Kong didn’t warm up to New York, but he was in love with this blonde beauty and hoped that she would return with him to back to his island. There love could never be because she already had a boyfriend and Kong being born and raised in the country longed for his country home while Ann is a city girl and would never adjust.

Ann spurned Kong’s advances and after destroying a good portion of the city in a jealous rage, Kong with Ann held firmly in his grasp made his way to the Empire State Building. He thought of climbing, what was then the tallest building in the world, as a means of escape from the police and army trying to take him down with heavy artillery. He looked up at the huge skyscraper and then at the raving beauty in his grasp and decided “to hell with it.”  He set her down on the street, after taking one more longing look at the women he loved he said “Here’s looking at you kid.”

Kong eventually found his way back to the jungle where he was crowned King of the Island for killing that wretched T-Rex that was the bane of existence to all life on the island, both beast and man alike. As for what became of Ann and John was left up to us, the audience to draw our own conclusion. Did they find true love in each other or was their love based on their experience with the over grown ape. With Kong now gone perhaps their love withered and died and they were left with only memories and dreams of how things could have been if Kong had not interrupted a delicate and budding love.

They don’t know how to make love stories any more. Love can be found anywhere, even in the burning desert of war torn Africa, or on board a sinking ship in the North Atlantic but all of key characters don’t have to die in the end. “Casablanca” ended beautifully with the lovers and heroes doing what heroes do, by placing the needs of the many before the needs of the few or the one.

Advertisements

Temptation and Conscience

Temptation is battle that man has had to deal with since the very beginning, just ask Eve who succumbed to it and then dragged Adam along with her. I have no doubt that Eve’s conscience kicked in and tried to stop her, but the serpent was a tricky devil. With the manipulative powers of a mother- in- law he reassured Eve that everything would be okay. When we give in to temptation we are then left to deal with the consequences of those actions. Adam and Eve were driven out of the garden and force to work hard every day to survive. They also left us with sin that was allowed to spread throughout the world and every soul born thereafter would be tainted with original sin. I believe that with every temptation that we are subjected to God gives us chance to not give in. It’s call our conscience, and for the briefest of seconds asks the question, “are you sure you really want to do this?”

The game of golf is a cesspool pool of temptation. There are rules in place that adhere to a code of conduct known as etiquette. You play the course with due respect to the course and to others, that means replacing divots, fixing ball marks, and raking sand traps so the course is playable for those who are playing behind you. When you cheat at golf you cheat yourself and you, yourself must admit to that in some way of form.  Playing by the rules is just good common sense, but that doesn’t mean that it comes without temptation.

Let’s say I have hit a nice tee shot into the fairway, I have a mid-iron shot to get me to the green, I pull out my trusty five irons and I hit it flush. The ball launches off the face of the club, while the divot catapults from the ground. The most crisp iron shot I have hit all day, however, I failed to consider the thin tree branch that hangs over into the fairway from the big willow tree that lines the hole. “Crack,” my ball hit the branch square and drops out of the sky, takes a kick to the right, and settles directly behind the big tree. Suddenly, I have no shot, all I can do is punch out. “This is so unfair”, I say, this isn’t right, “I just hit a great shot and I’m going to be penalized for it!” Suddenly I hear a voice and it says, “Just pick your ball and toss it into the fairway, who cares you’re playing by yourself, what’s the difference?” It appears to be coming from the tree itself and I began to agree with it. “If I was playing scramble I would get one club length free relief,” I say to the tree, and the tree seems to nod in agreement. Just as I bend down to pick up my golf ball and toss it away from the tree I hear another voice. “Are you sure you want to do that?” The voice appears to be coming from my golf ball. The ball continues, “If you pick up your ball and don’t count it your round will be tainted. No matter how well you play the rest of the way your round will be defiled because you cheated by the big willow.” “But, if I was play scramble,”- but, you’re not play scramble” interrupts the ball. I look at the tree in front of me, and then at my golf ball, finally I look up to the sky and say, ““All right! Fine! I’ll play as it lies.” I quickly pull a four from the bag and punch the ball away from tree before I change my mind and continue on with my round. That willow tree cost me a good score, however I feel good about not cheating and playing the game with integrity. My score may have been bad, but my spirit is full. Not giving into temptation has its own kind of rewards.

 

A misguided look at Mosquitoes

mosquito_634_600x450It was a beautiful night for golf in Greenbush last Wednesday, warm, sunny with enough of a breeze to keep the mosquitoes at bay. Five holes into the round the breeze dies off and then the mosquitoes came out. Standing on the number seven tee waiting for the group ahead to finish we were inhaling the little devils. They were very troublesome during the post golf barbeque as well. If you did not notice these little devils you were either unconscious or dead. I was standing next to the grill waiting for my food to finish cooking when Brett Dallager warned me of a mosquito drilling into the top of my head. I didn’t feel it and I told Brett that there wasn’t much blood up there anyway, which should have been obvious by the way I played. You may have heard that only the female mosquitoes bite and that is true, blood is essential in the egg laying process. So if you are getting chewed by mosquitoes there’re female making them easy to spot; the males can be more difficult to identify. The males are basically scavengers that hang around flowers looking of nectar. You can spot the males because they don’t bite but like to hang around food looking for handouts. Some of the bigger alpha males were trying to take off with the steaks cooking on the grill. Another way to spot the males is to look closely because they have antlers all though they are in velvet this time of year. For this reason the males are called bucks, making the females does. The bigger does were having the time of their lives with the guys who like their steak cooked rare. They would land on the edge of the plate and dive into the red steak blood that oozed out the steak and pooled onto the plate. If it appears to you that there are a lot more female mosquitoes than male ones I think you’re right, after all on buck and can service a lot of does.

Late Spring Robins

I have been fascinated by birds for thirty years; my yard is very bird friendly with a large wide open lawn surrounded by trees. I have feeders that I keep full year round, we have cherry trees, flowering crabs and wild raspberries that attract a variety of song birds, and I also have a bluebird box that will yield two broods per season. I can sit out in my lawn chair with binoculars in hand be entertained for hours.
This afternoon I was watching a robin pull worms out of ground and was amazed as to how he used his beak to chop the worms in small pieces, he has young ones to feed. Then he methodically wrapped these worm pieces around his beak, with one more look around he took flight to a nest of hungry hatchlings close by.
A short time later another robin came close by my chair, he was an adult male but smaller and worms he found were all for himself. He was, no doubt, one of last year’s brood with no nest to take of; he was doing fine until a larger adult male with mouths to feed came by and chased the youngster out of the immediate area. I had great entertainment at such a small price.

The Garden Curse

Gardens are like being enslaved by some psychological demon that only you can see. Oh, sure you go on about how much you love gardening and the taste of fresh garden produce, but that is not you talking the garden itself has taken control over you. Gardening actually starts in the fall after your garden has been picked clean, the potatoes and onions are dug and you prepare the soil for next spring. Some of you will find some kind of manure to till into the dirt for fertilizer and then argue which is better, hog or turkey. During the winter months you worry that it will get too cold before there is adequate snow cover to insulate the soil allowing the frost to penetrate deep into the ground. When the snow comes you worry about getting too much snow sitting on your garden. Finally, during the holidays and that time of deep winter you don’t think about the garden and the “beast” loosens its grip allowing you to feel free. In February the Gurney’s seed catalog shows up and you are pulled you back in. You start thinking about what you’re going to plant and where in garden it should go but spring is still three months away! This is a dangerous time for you, it’s the middle of winter but you find yourself obsessed with gardening but can’t do anything about. It’s an itch that can’t be scratched.
Planting season does eventually arrive as it always does and you find yourself tilling your garden to aerate the soil, happy that you can finally scratch the itch that has plagued you for so long. You spend days planting making sure each row is straight. Once everything is up and growing you are forced to work your garden everyday pulling weeds and tilling in-between the rows, hoeing between plants, you dig and nurture until dusk. Then comes the bug season, you’re powdering the potatoes, and cabbage, spraying fungicide on the tomatoes all to protect your precious plants. Then, you notice that your garden is being attacked by vermin, rabbits are eating your lettuce, squirrels are digging holes and the gophers are stealing your potatoes. You have no choice but to load your pellet gun and lay in wait for these thieving animals to appear and so you can kill them for eating your food. Deep inside yourself a pang of guilt washes over you for killing these cute little creatures that you wouldn’t normally harm. But the garden has control and you must save your crop by all means. About the time your vegetables began to bear fruit and fill the dry season hits and your garden demands moisture so now you must water. Your hobby is now a full blown curse, you can’t even take a vacation without making arrangements with someone to water the garden so it doesn’t wither and die. Suddenly its harvest time and everything is ready for picking all at the same time. Every day you’re on your hands and knees picking buckets of fresh produce that will need to be washed and cared for so after dark you’re blanching, freezing, and canning, it’s a nightmare from which you can’t escape. You’re consumed by the garden, but you must forage on or crop will be lost and all the while you’re telling yourself how wonderful this is, there is nothing like fresh picked vegetables. The garden has your full and undivided attention, other things in your life are put on hold, your kids look like rag muffins as they wander around undernourished in unwashed clothes, but you are busier than busy with no escape in site.
I too was once bitten by the garden ghost, Deb and I would toil day and night not realizing that I own a grocery store with fresh fruit and vegetables coming in every day. One of the rules of our garden was not to walk in the garden for its hallowed ground, and you had to walk around the garden. We have since managed to break our curse, my garden has been seeded into grass that I can mow, I’m now free to enjoy the summer, I can sit in my yard and bird watch or read. I can go for bike rides or play golf without guilt. However, there are times when I can still feel the glow of the garden beast lurking, when walking in my yard I tend to hesitate before stepping on my old garden spot; the beast is telling me to walk around it.

The Dentist and Church a common problem

Going to the dentist is like going to church.

When you tell a friend that you have a dentist appointment he will cringe at the thought. But, you have been very faithful about getting to your biannual cleanings and checkup so you rarely have any major problems. Your dentist is pleased with how well you take care of your teeth and you feel good about that. However, it seems that reminder card for your six month cleanings come around faster than you like, but this time you put it aside promising to make the appoint and it is soon forgotten.  The dentist can be easy to avoid.  In what seems like no time at all you get another card informing you that it has been a year since your last cleaning and checkup. Again you just don’t get around to making the appointment and after all you do brush and floss every day and haven’t had any problems so is the biannual cleaning really that important? Eventually the cards stop coming because you have been placed in their inactive patient file. It’s all fine until you notice an uncomfortable feeling in your lower gum but you’ve had that before and it usually goes away so you ignore it. After a few days your gum has gotten a little sensitive to the touch but doesn’t really hurt so you write it off as a canker sore that it will go away in a couple of days. When it doesn’t you buy Sensodyne toothpaste and message that area with your toothbrush to increase blood flow to promote healing. You are now in full blown denial but not ready to admit it. A few more days go by, the sore tooth is getting worse so you finally admit that you have been in denial and begin taking a regiment of vitamin I, you know, ibuprofen, to reduce the inflammation and that seems to be working.  But, a few days later your pain and discomfort continues to increase, and none of your home remedies are working, your denial is cracking, you are going to have to pick up the phone and make that appointment.

Going to church is similar, you attend every Sunday and you take it all in, the music, the pastor’s message, the prayers of the church and communion. You are there for the fellowship after the service and you take your turn serving coffee. You also participate in the service by reading scripture or helping with communion. You serve on committees and have done a stint or two on church council; you are fulfilled having taken part in the word of God. You discover how important the word of the Lord is to getting your week off to a proper start.  But, something pulls you away from church, and you miss a Sunday, the next week you have been battling a cold and you feel it’s best to stay home and rest so you miss another Sunday. By the third consecutive Sunday you say to yourself, “I should go to church, but I can’t get myself moving this morning I will go for sure next week.” A month and half has gone by and you are sitting on your deck trying to enjoy a Sunday morning cup of coffee, but you’re feeling more stressed than usual, the sound of a lawn mower in the distance is bothering you more than it used to because it’s interrupting the backyard bird’s song. However, you’re determined to enjoy your Sunday morning because you need your time alone more so than normal. You know that you have had a short fuse lately but can’t put your finger on it, because the Sunday morning “me” time should help that. Then, something pulls you back to church, a baptism, confirmation, or a sore tooth if you will.

You enter your old familiar haunts and everything is just as you left it, oh, sure it’s only been a few weeks since you last darkened the doors of your church, but for you it seems like an eternity and you kind of expected everything to be different somehow. You immediately began to reconnect with the calmness that your church has to offer. Special attention was paid to the pastor’s message and it was exactly what you needed to hear, like the sermon was written just for you. Even the prayers of the church seem to pertain to how you have been feeling lately. Then, your faith kicks in and you realize that the pastor’s words were actually God’s word spoken through the pastor. It is then that you are hit with the truth that during your church absence coincided with your time of high stress and irritability where you were not getting your weekly dose of God’s word.  However, you know in your heart that the Lord has never left you. Looking back at your long absence from church your focus began to shift from helping others to being more concerned about you and you alone. But during that time you also remember the Lords presence even when you were pushing him away. He has been there with all along, sharing your troubles and sending you signals that you were not ready to interpret so it was he who brought you back to church where you have received comfort through his word.

Your life is back on track now, the dentist has fixed your tooth, the hygienist gave you a good cleaning and you are pain free once again. Your sole has been cleansed, as well, by the word of God as you are back to attending weekly church.  You can feel the living grace of the Lord flowing through you, empowering you to be more community minded and helping others, which feeds your Christian need to give.

My Blog the Introduction

My Hiking Hat

My blog, the introduction.

 

I have always liked to dabble with the quill going back to high school where I took a course in creative writing. I have written articles for the local paper and I also pen the Golf News article for the paper during the men’s league golf season. All in all I’m not a good writer; I have no pedigree, no education or training. My spelling is horrible, my grammar is suspect and my punctuation has room for improvement. I tend to omit some of the small words that seem insignificant but are important for a good sentence flow. Fortunately I have three children who are all terrific writers and have education behind them so they are my proof readers. Without them I would have died on the vine years ago. After all of this time of writing it never occurred to me to write a blog until I was inspired Shane Isane’s who began a blog of his own, it appeared on Facebook.

 

So, what you are going to be reading in my blog will be variety of things all of which have been born and fed inside a deranged mind. I have a different way of viewing the world and am not afraid to put those thoughts on paper, within reason. I will write about sports, religion, faith, some history most of which will be laced with humor. I hope you enjoy my ravings and I look forward to any comments or criticism you may have.

Mike

My View of the World