Bad Mood Not Allowed

 

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Big River near Leadwood, MO

” Nature and books belong to the eyes that see them.  It depends on the mood of the man whether he shall see sunset or the fine poem.” –Essays and Poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson “Experience”

According to Merriam-Webster mood is a conscious state of mind or predominant emotion.   Emerson shares with us his thought that what a person sees is dependent upon what type of mood one happens to be entertaining at the time.  A thought that after thinking about it, I find to hold a lot of truth.

How many times have we cheated ourselves out of a breath taking sunset simply because our mood wasn’t right?  Now I won’t argue the fact that if your mind is in the right place a beautiful sunset can change your mood if you allow it to but it doesn’t always happen that way.

I remember a time in my life that I had went camping with a group that everyone there seemed to put a capital “n” in negativity.  Sitting around the campfire that first night I knew I was in trouble.  I honestly can’t remember any of them saying something positive.  I let it infect me and my mood was horrible.  I didn’t get one good photo that weekend.  I was definitely not on my best game.  I didn’t really realize until sometime later how much your mood can dictate the quality of your photography, painting, writing etc..

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Big River near Leadwood, MO.

The two photos were taken by me in the summer of 2017.  They are pics of the same rock formation taken from different angles.  You look at it from different angles you get different views.  You see different details.  It is like looking at something in a good mood or a bad mood.  There are going to be things that don’t look the same.  This applies to life also, not just to your creative abilities.

I don’t care who you are but when you are in a bad mood and have to make a decision, ninety percent of the time it is going to be a bad decision.  For those of you who have lived with someone that has excessive, erratic mood swings, you know how much moods effect life AND you know how miserable they can be and you.

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Picture Of catch by my friend David.

 

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Same photo as above but unedited.

So if you would, imagine your moods like the filters I used with this photo.  Your mood decides what kind of day you are going to have just like the filter I used decides how colorful the fish is going to be.  I hope everyone is understanding what I am saying because moods are very instrumental in what kind of day you are going to have.

So remember when you get up in the morning and get that first cup of coffee in you, that it is time to start getting in that “good mood” you need to make your day enjoyable.  Tell yourself this is your day and no one is capable of messing it up unless you let them.  Put that smile on your face that is going to be greeting people all day long.  Clear yourself of any negativity.  Now go back to bed and say the hell with it!  JUST KIDDING!  Now put your big boy or girl panties on and go out into the world and ……… “Be happy, don’t worry, cause when you worry your face will frown and that will bring everybody down”……….

Thanks for reading my blog.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Remember to spread the love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Dawn

 

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Sunrise

 

BUZZ!  BUZZ!  Time to get up.  You roll over and turn off the alarm and lay there for a couple of minutes clearing your mind and trying to get a course for what you have to do today.  Ok you have it figured out so you head for the john to drain the fluids from your bursting bladder.

Now you are standing at the sink washing your hands and you look in the mirror.  Then these words come to mind’

I’m starting with the man in the mirror

I am asking him to change his ways

And no message could have been any clearer

If you wanna make the world a better place

Take a look at yourself and make a change

Who is that man/woman in the mirror that you are looking at?  Is he/she happy?  Is he/she where he/she wants to be in life?  When is the last time he/she really enjoyed life?  Does he/she believe in him/herself?  Does he believe in him/herself?

If you don’t believe in yourself then it really doesn’t matter what the answers were to the other questions.  If you want to succeed and enjoy a  happy and fulfilled life you have to believe in yourself.  You the man/woman!  You are in charge!  Grab the day by the horns and make it YOUR day.

Ok now look in the mirror and tell that person in the mirror, This is your day and no one is going to PP on your parade.  Any and all negativity is no longer allowed.  If the day is ruined it will be because you were weak and let it happen.  Whose life is it?  Your life.  Do you believe?  Yes!  In what?  ME!!!!!  I can’t hear you!  MEEEEEE!!!

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” – Marcus Aurelius

So now you believe in yourself.  Good on you.  That is where it starts.  Now to maintain the road of happiness.  Most folks now a days try to find happiness through material things.

‘Cause the boy with the cold hard cash

Is always Mister Right, ’cause we are

Living in a material world

And I am a material girl,

You know that we are living in a material world

And I am a material girl – Madonna Material Girl

Be still.  Listen real close.  Hear that? Ba-beat, ba- beat, ba-beat.  That is your heart beating within you.  Giving you life.  Pumping the essence of life through your veins so that you may enjoy life.  This is where you will find true happiness.  Within yourself.  You don’t need that new boat, new car, new dress, new golf clubs, etc..  No siree.  You need a soft, gentle, caring heart.  A heart that cares about others.

“Only I can change my life.  No one can do it for me.” – Carol Burnett

If you don’t believe in yourself, and feel you need to change the direction of your walk in life, look no further than inside yourself.  There you will find the answers to “you”.

Don’t forget to “spread the love”.

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Sunset

 

 

I would Like To Teach………..

“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one…just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

When you look at the picture above what do you see?  Do you see someone that appears to be a loner or do you see someone that appears to be a person who enjoys nature and sunrises?  It is impossible to form a true opinion without knowing a little more about the person and the situation.

We seem to be living in a society that is quick to criticize and very judgemental.  We don’t seem to need all the facts and, the “truth”, …… well that is purely optional.  We seem to care less whether we destroy someone’s reputation or creditability.  We don’t hesitate to destroy one’s self esteem with a wag of our tongue.  What changed and why have we turned into a heartless society?  It seems that the media doesn’t care if their story is true or factual, they just want to be the first to print or air it.

 

 

“The only measure of judging a human being is through that person’s character, because is not determined by race, religion, gender or social status.  And one who recognizes this simple fact of human life behaves the same with the scientist, the janitor and the sex worker.” – Abhijit Naskar Human Making is Our Mission: A Treatise on Parenting (Humanism Series)

My Grandma Bobbie told me a lot of things through the years but I think the smartest thing she ever told me was , “if you can’t say something nice about someone then just don’s say nothing at all.”  Those I believe are such true words to live by.  Native Americans said, “don’t judge me until you have walked a mile in my moccasins.”

You ever wonder how different things would be if we looked at people through our hearts instead of our eyes?  How many possible friendships have you lost because the person was obese, nerdy, ugly, backwards, etc.?  The reason I labeled them possible is because 99% of the time you probably walked away with out giving them a chance.  It happens and you know it.

So you are at a party and you see this person sitting there all by themselves.  Your first thought is why are they by themselves.  Then the chatter of the grape vine starts around the room and it isn’t giving the person any good reviews.  Do you ignore them or do you try and get to know them.  News Flash!!!!!!  Hearsay isn’t all that reliable and other people’s opinions are nothing more than a manifestation derived from jealousy or egotistical action.   Take the time to strike up a quality conversation and listen to them.  You never know, you might just find your new “bestest” friend in the world.  Take a chance.

So your mission today (should you decide to accept it) is to start learning to put aside the appearance and look into that person’s heart.  That is where you are going to find what truly makes this person who they are.  It may be the last time you ever see them. Then again one of you may inspire the other to do something great!  You had the idea in your head but you needed a nudge and that person might just be the inspiration you needed.  There are so many possibilities that something might come out of it but if you don’t interact with that person you will never know.

 

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Photo provided by Pexel

The sun will rise in the east in the morning and a new day will begin.  Treat people like you like to be treated and for once let us try and get along for a change.  Learn to look at a person through their heart.  Listen to your heart and not other people’s opinions.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Remember to spread the love.

 

 

 

 

 

Growing Up!!!!

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Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

The year was 1964. We were one out away from winning first place.  The count was 2 and 2 with a runner on third, score tied 1 to 1, and the bottom of the ninth, when “bam” the batter hits the ball over second base and our dream of winning the championship is crushed.  There were eight teams in our division and only first and second place got trophies.  Unlike today not everyone got trophies.

We failed.  We tasted failure.  Looking back on that time in my life, I remember how we all became closer and how we vowed to work harder.  We were hell bent on improving our skills and becoming champions.  In 1965 our dream came to fruition.

The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but rising every time we fail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have spent a lot of hours through the year thinking about this and I believe in my heart that failure is the reason we became champions.  It built character and made us work harder.  It didn’t scar us for life or fill us with low self esteem.

We didn’t get participation trophies.  We earned them.  I think the big difference between now and back then is that the “family unit” was a lot stronger and more endeared.  Don’t get me wrong, we were a long way from perfect.  I remember fathers that just gave their child hell if they lost.  Losing wasn’t an option.  These are the actions that were detrimental to childhood development.  It wasn’t the losing that caused the problems, it was bad parenting.  Parents that wouldn’t take the time to teach their children that it wasn’t wrong to lose.  That it happened.  It was an integral part of life whether we wanted it or not.

At the end of the day, you are solely responsible for your success and your failure.   And the sooner you realize that, you accept that, and integrate that into your work ethic, you will start being successful.  As long as you blame others for the reason you aren’t where you want to be, you will always be a failure.” –  Erin Cummings

Maybe I am just an antiquated, set in his ways, old man but I truly believe it is time to go back to the “olden days” and teach children what failure is and how to use it in their favor.  No, everybody doesn’t get a trophy for participating, you have to earn it.

Then we need to teach them the importance of taking responsibility for their actions.  That they are in charge of writing their “Book of Life” and they decide what is going in it.  Teach them that “failure” can actually be a good thing.  We also have to teach them how to cope with failure and how to use it to their advantage.

Thank you so much for reading my blog.  I appreciate you taking the time.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Spread the love.

What Is “Life”?

“Life has no meaning.  Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life.  It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.” – Joseph Campbell

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I have been MIA because of that nasty viral infection that is make its rounds.  It is some nice stuff, let me tell you.  I am behind on reading the blogs that I follow and have a lot of catching up to do.

My combat with the infection took me to the doctor’s office.  While sitting in the waiting room I looked around the room at all those that had ventured in to seek medical help.  There were around 11 waiting and ranged in age from 27 to 80.  There were only 4 males including myself.  I watched as they sat there patiently waiting for their turn.  As I watched my mind began to ask, I wonder what life means to them?

Is life just existing to them or is it so dear to them they have a fear of dying?  Is it exciting and always in party mode or do they prefer sitting in a chair reading a great book and sipping on hot tea?  Life is what YOU make it.

Life can be so strong and virile one day and it is so fragile the next.  We think we are on top of the “world of life” one day and wake up to find ourselves in the abyss of life gone wrong.  Life is full of highs and lows and your quality of life depends on how you manage those highs and lows.

“Whatever we are, whatever we make of ourselves, is all we will ever have – and that, in its profound simplicity, is the meaning of life.” – Phillip Appleman

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When one is at their low point in life they, as I see it any way, only have two choices.  Put on your big boy/girl undies and take life by the horn and make some positive changes in their life or lie there and wallow in self pity and rely on the enablers in your life to help you along.

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“We get to CHOOSE the meaning of our lives.  Our lives mean exactly what we say they do – no more, no less.  Each of us chooses their path in life.” – Johnathan Lockwood Huie

Life is simply what YOU decide it is going to be.  YOU write the definition.  People, experiences and God can help you along the way but You have the final decision.  Prepare yourself through education, understanding and knowledge.  If you don’t love yourself then learn how to.  Parents listen to your children, just because you wanted to be a great athlete, accountant, doctor, lawyer, etc., it doesn’t mean that it will be a good fit for them.  Let them make that decision.  What’s that you say?  You aren’t going to let them make a bad decision.  Yeah, right just like you never did, right?  Encourage them to be their own person and to write their own “Book of Life.”

Once again thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my blog.  It as well as any comments, is deeply appreciated.  Now go spread the love.

 

 

 

My Addiction

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“I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.” – Henry David Thoreau

My adventure began December 16, 2017.  I went to the property we own in Frank Clay that morning and had been cutting wood.  It was a gorgeous day and I was having withdrawal symptoms.  My addiction hadn’t been fed in awhile and I knew the longer I neglected it the worse it would get.

I arrived home around 2:30 and fed the horses.  I then went to work unloading a load of wood that I had brought back.  When that was done I went to work organizing the necessary items for a night in the woods.

I arrived at the property at 5:30 p.m. so I would be setting up in the dark.  First thing I did was get the fire started so that when I was finished setting up I could rustle up some grub.

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My palace for the evening.

It was 47 degrees when I arrived at the property.  They were calling for a low of 40 and light rain by morning.

Once I had supper behind me I began reflecting on the day and the early night.  The temperature had dropped to 40 degtrees and I could feel the fingers of the cold tugging at my toes and feet.

As I sat watching the flames of the fire dancing around the wood I began thinking just how fortunate I am to be able to experience Nature in this way.  I think we tend to get so caught up in our everyday routines that we take our freedoms for granted.  In our minds we tell ourselves that it will be there.  We seem to forget how fragile life is.  It can change in a matter of seconds and we lose the luxury to enjoy the things we hold so dear to our hearts.

As I sat there absorbing my surroundings I tried to imagine what it would be like for someone that has never experienced Nature in this way.  No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t wrap my mind around what it would be like.  I realize that a lot of people don’t exactly have this adventure on their bucket list.  To those people I say, find your “Nature experience”.  That one experience that fills your heart with joy, recharges your spirit and cleanses your soul.  That “me” time that we need to clear our minds and help us cope with life.   Now close your eyes and think what that is.  You got it?  Hold it dear in your heart and don’t ever hesitate to go there and enjoy that time.

Another passion of mine is Dutch Oven cooking.  My favorite is the ten inch.  It is quite versatile and I carry that with me on my camping excursions.  It also works well as a skillet.  That was my choice for Sunday morning.  It is great for cooking the complete meal in one pot.  This morning I chose potatoes, sausage and eggs.  Food tastes so much better when cooked outside, or at least that is my opinion.  As I sat there eating breakfast I watched as the forest came to life.  I watched as two deer made their way past camp and it must have been a squirrel family reunion.  Several were enjoying the mild December weather.  I had ten coyotes visit camp the night before.  They didn’t stay long.  They must have been looking for that roadrunner that was always picking on their cousin Wiley.

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“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  I hope you enjoyed it.  If your passion is say Bingo, then take the time to go to that place and renew your spirit and cleanse your soul.  I know it is sometimes hard to find that time you really need.  Learn to schedule this much needed time in your life.  Remember to spread the love.

The Man Behind the Blog

 

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If people could be as loyal as a dog.

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.” – Henry David Thoreau

I am a simple man who doesn’t relish material things.  I have a problem with most technology because I feel it is the “Achilles Heel” of today’s society.  We have become to dependent on it and if it ever fails we will find ourselves in a world of chaos and ruin.  Maybe I am old school but I just don’t see today’s networks that make this modern technology work as it does, being infallible.  Just ask yourself, what would happen if a virus was able to penetrate our financial systems and erase all the data?  Could we survive a hit like that?  I know what you are sayin, we have safe guards for that.  Yeah right.  Tell that to the folks that had problems with their tax returns being stolen.

“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don’t take friendship lightly.  I have a tough time trusting people, but then there are plenty of reasons for that.  Trust is the foundation of a true friendship.  Now I am not talking a casual friendship, I am talking a friendship where you bare your soul to that person.  A lot of things just don’t mean to people what it did 30 years ago.  Friendship is one of those things that I think has lost its true meaning.

I don’t believe in the “everyone gets a trophy” way of life.  I think we do our children an injustice by not letting them experience defeat and disappointment..  We are just delaying the inevitable.  One will never win every battle they encounter.  Such is life so let us prepare them early in life.

Right, wrong or indifferent I believe an individual is responsible for their own fate/destiny.  Yes, some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth but that person can fail himself/herself just as easy as the person who was born into poverty.  If destiny decided my life I guess I could say my life came with a guarantee.  Guaranteed to crash and burn or succeed no matter what I do because destiny has all ready decided that for me.

“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.  Wash your spirit clean.” – John Muir

I am not a religious person, I am a spiritual person.  I love and respect Mother Earth.  I have always been drawn to nature and when I am in the woods or on the river I am home where I belong.  There is no better place to go to cleanse your soul and recharge your spirit.  Photography is my passion.  Horseback riding is another favorite of mine.  I dislike the way we teach young girls to judge their beauty by what is on the outside and not by what is on the inside.  I would rather be in the wilderness of Montana than on a beach in the Caribbean.  If I could have lunch with anyone I wanted, it would be my Grandma Bobbi.  Damn I miss her.  I would like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.  I would to spend a day with Thoreau and Emerson.  I want my own cabin and Walden Pond.  If I could do one thing to change the world, it would be to put love in everyone’s heart because that would resolve all the other problems.  “Faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us, and the greatest was love.” – Alan Jackson (Where Were You)

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Now you know a little more about the man that writes the blogs.  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and I hope you enjoyed it.  Don’t forget to spread the love.

 

 

 

 

 

My Take on Self-reliance

 

 

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Just me and my dog Kate

 

“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Merriam-Webster defines self-reliance as reliance on one’s own efforts and abilities.

When I hear “self-reliance I think of the early pioneers and the hardships they had to endure.  They were pretty much able to take care of themselves.  They raised and hunted their own food, played doctor, teacher and were carpenters.  They had to be that way in order to survive.

In today’s world self- reliance seems to have left the building.    Sad part is that children of today aren’t being given a chance to be self-reliant.  The parents  just don’t want to take the time out of their busy schedule to teach them.   Grandparents have it in their minds that they  have to do everything for them, be their best friend and by all means don’t hurt their feelings.  Both sides argue that the child isn’t responsible enough but at the same time they aren’t teaching the child responsibility.  All of this is done with good intentions however, the child is the one who is losing and will have no ideal how to do things for themselves.  They grow up expecting people to do everything for them and .  When I look into my crystal ball I don’t see a very good future for them.

Then we have the government using public assistance to enslave John Q Public.  Why?  They don’t want us to even entertain the idea of self-reliance.  Keep us from attaining it and we hand them the control that gives them the upper hand if they need it.  Ok, settle down.  Quit laughing so hard.  Maybe I am getting senile but it is happening more and more as folks lose their jobs.  Public Assistance, the New Form of Self-Reliance! by your Congressional Representatives.

 

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We interrupt this program for a message from the turkey above, Please eat more possum.  My friends and family will appreciate it.

“Over the years, Americans in particular have been all too willing to squander their hard-earned independence and freedom for the illusion of feeling safe under someone else’s authority.  The concept of self-sufficiency has been undermined in value over a scant few generations.  The vast majority of the population seems to look down their noses upon self-reliance as some quaint dusty relic, entertained only by the hyperparanoid or those hopelessly incapable of fitting into mainstream society.” – Cody Lundin

I don’t think folks put enough emphasis on self-reliance.  Anyone who lived during the “Great Depression” can tell you how important it is.  Nobody seems to understand it can happen again and seem to be  complacent with the government taking care of them.  My way of thinking is I would rather be in control of my outcome in that situation and trust no one else with my surviving.  Just look how they take care of our veterans.  Still feel warm and fuzzy inside thinking of them taking care of you when the SHTF?

Self-reliance also involves one thinking for themselves and not letting anyone else or the government tell you how to think.  It also necessitates for one to be prepared for whatever comes at them.

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.  Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.” – Abraham Lincoln (Parents and grandparents should have this one taped to their mirror so they read it every morning before they start their day.  Just saying, if the child is capable of doing it then why are you?)

“If you truly want to be respected by people you love, you must prove to them that you can survive without them.” – Michael Bassey Johnson

Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  It means a lot to me and you and your time are deeply appreciated.  I take this time to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving and good times with family.  As you go through the holidays don’t forget to spread the love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Little Bit About Henry David Thoreau

 

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Monsanto Lake

“I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time.  To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating.  I love to be alone.  I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden

I think one reason that I find the work of Thoreau so magical is because of the many things I feel we have in common, I too love to be alone.  Is it indicative of a selfish person?  I would hope not.  I personally don’t consider myself a selfish person.  I would like to think of it as a trait of someone that is independent and a survivor.  I am not what I would call a very materialistic person.  I am just a simple man who isn’t fond of drama and keeps negativity at a great distance.

In 1845 Thoreau built a cabin upon the shores of Walden Pond, a lake in Concord Massachusetts.  For the next two years, two months, and two days he would record his experiences as he learned to eliminate the material and spiritual details that trespass upon our happiness.  I can’t help but think what conclusion he would have come to today in a world dependent on modern technology?  Would he have been able to pull it off?  Yes I think he could have.

Walden: Life In the Woods was published in 1854.  It was a reflection upon the two years he spent living the simple life as a way of declaring self-reliance and independence.  Some folks have even referred to it as a manual for self-reliance.  During this time he wrote his first book, “A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers”.

 

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Monsanto Lake

 

I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.  I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary.” Henry David Thoreau

I can’t emphasis enough, how envious of Thoreau I am.  In a situation such as he created, I would think that one would learn to love themselves.  I am a firm believer that if one wants to succeed in life they must learn to love themselves.  I have spent two weeks by myself in the woods living the “simple life” and learned a lot about myself during that time.  I can only imagine what one would learn in two years.

I suppose though that this “alone time” could be detrimental to some folks suffering from depression.  It is hard for those folks to be alone and some definitely don’t need all that time to think.  If those people could train themselves to live this time alone and at the same time deal with depression I think it would be very beneficial to them.  Maybe, just maybe it would be a good avenue to use to defeat their demons and learn how to keep them away.

Thanks for reading my blog and I hope you enjoyed it and the pics I shot.  The pictures are of Monsanto Lake located in the St. Joe Park located in St. Francois county near Park Hills, MO.  I could just see myself living in a cabin on the shores of the lake for two years.  Don’t forget to spread the love.

 

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Monsanto Lake

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”  Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Life in the Woods

 

 

 

Another Time, Another Place

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I defy the annals of chivalry to furnish the record of a life more wild and perilous than that of a Rocky Mountain trapper.” – Francis Parkman

Have you ever wished you were born in another time?  I have on more than one occasion.  If I could have chose when I was going to start my journey on Mother Earth, it would have been during the era of the Mountain Men.

Mountain men were most common in the Rocky Mountains from around 1810 to 1880.  They were male trappers and explorers who lived in the wilderness and were instrumental in opening various Emigrant Trails.  Most mountain men worked for a major fur company however a large amount of them chose to be free trappers.

Fur trading companies implemented a system for the mountain men to sell their furs.  It was called the Rocky Mountain Rendezvous, founded by William Henry Ashley, and was around from 1825 to 1840.  James Beckwourth once described the Rendezvous as “Mirth, songs, dancing, shouting, trading, trading, running, jumping, singing, racing, target shooting, yarns, frolic, with all sorts of  extravagances that white men or Indians could invent.”  The Rendezvous is still celebrated yearly throughout the United States in honor of the mountain man.  There are black powder rifle shooting contests, knife throwing, tomahawk throwing and primitive archery contests.  Folks dress the part of the era and participate in primitive camping and cooking.

“A mountain man tries to live with the country instead of against it.” Louis L’Amour

The life of a mountain man wasn’t easy.  It was hard and many didn’t last very long.  They had to be knowledgeable about medicinal plants and be able to treat themselves when they got sick or hurt.  They had to contend with bear, wolves and mountain lions to name a few.  They also had clashes with the Native Americans in the area.  They had to know how to trap, hunt, fish, tan hides, make their own clothes, and build sound shelter.  They had to be survivors.

A few notable mountain men were:

Jim Beckwourth – (1798-1866)  African American who lived with the Crow and attained the position, “war chief”.

Jim Bridger – (1804-1881) Was among  the first non-natives to see geysers and the wonders of the Yellowstone Region.

John Colter – (1774-1812) One of the first mountain men and was a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

A few others were, George Drouillard, Sylvan “Buckskin Bill” Hart, John “Liver-Eating” Johnson, Joseph Lafyette “Joe” Meek, Jedediah Smith and William Lewis Sublette.

“The mountains have rules, they are harsh rules, but they are there, and if you keep to them you are safe.  A mountain is not like men.  A mountain is sincere.  The weapons to conquer it exist inside you, inside your soul.” – Walter Bonatti

There have been times that I was floating down the river and would imagine myself as a mountain man and try to imagine what it was like to look upon sites that no white man had ever saw.  They had to be blown away by some of the breath taking scenes they saw.  How they must have felt when they came face to face with a blizzard and endured a Rocky Mountain winter.  They had to feel great accomplishment and jump with joy when spring fell upon the mountains and melted the winter snows.  Pardon my “French” but they had to have “gonads” the size of Texas.  They had no idea what they would face.  No doctors to run to when they got hurt or sick and if something happened to your supply of coffee your were out for a long time and it was a long way to a store to get more.

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“The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir

It would have been a tough life and quite a challenge but I would have loved to try it.  Failure during that time usually meant a loss of life.  Definitely the “ultimate challenge” that would separate men from the boys or should I say real men from the men?

Hope you enjoyed and thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  Spread the love.