Life Changes

St Francis River

We were created from dust and one day we will return to dust. We are a part of Mother Earth.
I sit here drinking in what God has created and it leaves me speechless. Such beauty.
Temp is hovering around 30 degrees. I can feel the sun’s warmth on my face. Not a cloud in the sky.

I am so blessed to be able to enjoy what God has created. The feeling of peace and healing is within me. The sound of the river mesmerizes me and I get lost in the music the St Francis River is playing.
It’s a sad day though. It is our last day however we will return on March 1st.

St Francis River

News Flash! There has been a big change in my life. I am engaged to Evelyn Zarbo. We met in the 7th grade and were reunited at our 50th year Class Reunion. Her brother and sister-in-law are Camp Hosts at Silver Mines. Next year we will be co-hosts. We will live there for 8 months. we are excited about joining them. Reception is lousy, so it is tough to get internet service.

Evelyn and Me
Woke up to this on November 11, 2022
St Francis River

Autumn Has Arrived

Silver Mines Recreation Area

“It’s the first day of autumn! A time of hot chocolatey mornings, and toasty marshmallow evenings, and, best of all, leaping into leaves.!”Winnie the Pooh; Pooh’s Grand Adventure

Here in Missouri, autumn arrived with cooler temperatures and rain showers. Leaves have begun turning and some dropping to the ground. Some persimmons have started to ripen. Stores have begun stocking apple cider and caramel apples. It’s starting to look a lot like autumn.

As a child I loved raking leaves. I would make huge piles and run and jump into them. I managed to entertain myself for hours. My father tricked me into biting into a green persimmon. OMG! I didn’t think I would ever be able to spit again. Please don’t try that. Take my word for it. Soon the sky will be filled with the sounds of geese headed south for the winter.

Big River

Stores have already begun stocking Christmas decorations and it isn’t even October yet. Halloween will soon be upon us. I love Halloween. There was a time I would be planning a Halloween party. I used to have a hayride followed by a bonfire, chili and karaoke. Here in Missouri deer hunters will head to the woods and start scouting the woods for deer sign. Bow season is already happening. It won’t be long and there will be frost on the pumpkin.

This is the time of year that people start reflecting back on the year and see the things they have to be thankful for. Thanksgiving will be here before we know it. Families and friends will gather together and celebrate. I enjoy cooking the Thanksgiving dinner. I have a Dutch Oven big enough to cook a thirteen-pound turkey in, it weighs 45 pounds. There is nothing better tasting than a turkey cooked in a Dutch Oven. I also cook the pies, dressing and other vittles in the Dutch Ovens. I have a fairly large assortment of them.

left to right- dressing, turkey, and sweet tater pie

It also begins the bonfire season. I do love me a good bonfire. I love to watch the flames dance and the smell of wood smoke. I usually have three or four fires a week. I love to camp this time of year also and I think the fishing is better than it is any other time of year. I do about 80% of the cooking outside so I enjoy the cooler temperatures.

I love a bonfire, how about you?
My cook area plus I have a Blackstone griddle.
Cooking a pot of beans

To those like me who enjoy the fall, I say Happy Fall to you! May your refrigerator be full of apple cider, your cupboard filled with caramel apples, and you have plenty of wood for the fire. This is also the time of year when a big bowl of chili tastes best. Be kind to one another and spread the love.

The Approach of Autumn

Soon autumn will be upon us. The air will be laced with the aroma of burning wood as good friends and lovers sit around a bonfire. The aroma of pumpkin spice will fill homes. It’s a time when you grab the one you love and embrace each other as you watch the dancing flames of the fire.

It’s the time of year when you reflect on the events of the summer and give thanks for all you have. Kitchens come alive as families begin canning the bounty of their gardens. Their reward for their hard work.

It’s the time of year to dust off the chili pot and dig out your chili recipes. Apple cider and apple pies are abundant. The nights become cooler and a chill is in the air.

Soon the countryside will display the beauty of the changing leaves. Mother Nature begins preparing Mother Earth for the coming of winter.

Autumn is my favorite time of year. The beautiful colored leaves and crisp autumn mornings wake my soul and I feel more alive this time of year than any other time of year. I am thankful that I have been blessed with the joy of another autumn.

This weekend we started our celebration of fall. Friends, bonfire, and homemade chili. It doesn’t get any better than this.

Be kind to one another and spread the love!

Time

“Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.”

Bill Keane

As I have aged I have become more aware of time. None of us know just how much time we have left to travel the road of life.

I have also learned how important it is to focus on the present.

I have seen so many who have talked about the past only to remember the low times they have encountered instead of the high times. It’s called the past for a reason. That time is gone. It no longer exists and there is nothing you can do to change it. What’s done is done.

Some will argue that time spent on the future is time well spent. Maybe it is to some extent but really it’s a shot in the dark. We have no control over it and we have no idea what will happen. We have no idea if our plans will succeed. No matter how well we plan there is no guarantee.

Wouldn’t it be better to focus on the present? The past is gone, the future is tomorrow and tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. We should focus on the present. Our actions and attitude can make it enjoyable or miserable. We are in control and it can be time well spent.

Right wrong or indifferent, I choose to spend time on the present. It’s a good time to be thankful and enjoy life. It’s a good time to enjoy life and be thankful and praise God for giving us another day to enjoy the present.

People Are Great

I don’t remember when I started blogging but I have been doing it for awhile. I have met some great people blogging. I have learned a great deal about lizards had Saturday morning coffee and learned about the deep cold a friend experiences way up north. There are so many that I have met and I consider them friends.

Everyone of you are special to me and I enjoy your work. I did receive a very nice comment on my Aging post and the crazy thing I really needed to hear that. It really made my day. Thank you sooooo much.

In closing I want you to know that every like and comment I get is very appreciated. I can’t thank you all enough really.

The Power of an Apology

St Francis River

It seems that people have forgot about how powerful an apology can be. A sincere apology that is. If you have done something wrong and lost someone’s trust an apology is a great way to begin restoring the trust you have lost.

I think one reason people don’t apologize is because they never accept the fact they did something to break that trust. They are in complete denial of doing anything wrong to cause the mistrust. “I didn’t do that.” “ You just don’t understand.” Common answers that are given.

Until the guilty party steps up and admits they did it, then apologizes, the relationship is in jeopardy. How can anybody trust them again if they aren’t willing to apologize for the wrong they did? That’s when the hurt party has to decide if the relationship is worth saving.

Accept responsibility for your actions and then apologize for hurting them.

Elephant Rocks State Park

I awoke the morning of February 4 and looked out the window to find Mother Earth blanketed with around 5 inches of fluffy snow. I had no idea what the roads were like, but I immediately thought of the Elephant Rocks located near me in Iron County in Missouri. I knew there were some great photographs waiting to be made.

The elephant rocks consist of geological formations that were formed some 1.5 billion years ago during the Precambrian Era. Many were formed within 7 acres of the natural area located within the park. A formation that is 27 feet tall, 34 feet long, and 17 feet tall has been named Dumbo. Giant boulders formed from granite stand end- to- end and reminds one of a train of elephants.

The name for this formation is “tor”, a stack or pile of weathered residual granite rock boulders. We had freezing rain, sleet, and snow the night before and it was virtually impossible for me to climb up the boulders to get some good shots of these formations.

Granite has been quarried in the area since 1869. This granite has been used for buildings from Massachusetts to California and was used in the St. Louis City Hall, and even the piers of the Eads Bridge were made from this granite. The mining left behind a small pond.

Inside the park you will find the Braille Trail that was created for people with visual and physical disabilities. Picnic tables can be found scattered throughout the park where folks can picnic and enjoy the geological formations within the park.

If you are interested in purchasing one of the prints, please contact me at dwwhite1954@gmail.com. I sell just prints or framed and matted.

All photos are the property of Double D Aes LLC and cannot be used without my consent.

True Friendship; a Gift

There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.”

Thomas Aquinas

There are those friends who only are around when things are good. I refer to them as fair weather friends. Then there are those who are there to share in our windfalls and when that is gone so are they.

Then there are those that are there during the rough times to help you through. I refer to them as the roughneck friends.

A true friend is one that accepts you for who you are even if you have a difference of opinions on some things. It’s hard to find two people who agree with each other 100% of the time. That shouldn’t have an affect on a friendship. True friends inspire one another. They help you find the light at the end of the tunnel when you thought all was lost. They are the ones on the other end of the phone at 3 a.m. who you called just because you needed to talk to someone. They instill confidence within us. They are good listeners and they are there to support us. They overlook our failures and share in our successes. They rekindle our inner spirit. True friendship is the greatest gift of life.

The Dark Side of Christmas

My Precious Kate

I love the Christmas Holidays but unfortunately there is a dark side to Christmas.

Soon the shelters and rescues will begin filling up with older dogs that were surrendered by heartless owners. The only thing they are guilty of is growing old.

Dogs that have been with the same family for 10 to 15 years find themselves in a strange place surrounded by strangers. They are scared and soon become depressed. Yes, dogs can suffer from depression. They have feelings too. When are they coming back to get me? What did I do to deserve this?

I just can’t understand how people can be so heartless and cold to an animal that gave them nothing but unconditional love.

Kate as a puppy.

Then a month or two after Christmas the shelters and rescues begin filling up with Christmas puppies. Owners who didn’t really research puppy ownership have decided it is too much work.

I beg of you, if you are thinking about getting someone a puppy for Christmas, stop and think. First are you going to consider this new puppy part of the family? Second can you make the commitment to give this new pup a forever home? If the answer is not sure or no then walk away from it. They deserve a forever home.

My Eros as a pup.
My Eros all grown up.

I unfortunately lost them 28 days apart to cancer.

As Christmas approaches I beg of you to not be heartless and surrender your old dog to a shelter or rescue. If you are thinking of buying one for a present STOP and ask yourself if you can be fully committed to accepting the pup as a family member and giving it the forever home it deserves. If you have any doubt at all then PLEASE walk away.

Remi
Remi

There is an interesting story about Remi. I bought a house and the people who owned the house left Remi and a neighbor took the job of caring for her.

On the day I closed on the property I went to the house and was greeted by Remi. Teeth bared she wasn’t going to let me in the house. At one point she had me by the pants leg. I managed to make it back to the truck without getting bit. She was just protecting her house from a stranger. No one told her it wasn’t her house anymore.

The next day I came back and the neighbor met me and properly introduced Remi and I. Now we are the best of friends and she lives between both houses. She really has the best of both worlds.

Gone But Not Forgotte

My best friend and me.

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” – Josh Billings

On January 1, 2011 a wonderful Australian Shepherd was born. Little did I know how much she would change my life and bring so much joy to me. She unfortunately had a rough start in life. She was plagued with crystals in her urine that caused immense pain and at a year old she would have hip dysplasia surgery.

After surgery.

She was comfortable on the couch so this would be her hospital bed. I slept on the floor beside her until she was able to get on and off the couch by herself. She would try to chew her stitches and I refused to force her to wear the cursed collar so I improvised.

She adapted well to the shorts.

I was a farrier and Kate became my ride dog. We were together everyday and became quite inseparable. She loved going with me and took her job at riding shotgun very seriously.

Kate riding shotgun.
Kate with me on the job.

Kate was very well behaved and loved to take walks.

I think she is trying to tell me something.

I have never owned a dog as loving as Kate. She had to constantly be by my side and if she wasn’t she kept an eye on me to make sure I didn’t slip off without her.

My constant companion.
In the Christmas spirit.

I have had several dogs over the course of 60 plus years but none of them touched me like Kate did. I was her human. She was a great listener and after a rough day she always managed to make me smile and lift my spirits.

Then the fateful day of a vet visit, x-rays showed her lungs were filled with tumors and there was no cure. I was devastated and my whole world came falling down around me. I couldn’t imagine my life without her in it. She was my everything and more. I know there are those of you rolling your eyes and saying she is just a dog and to you I say you have never recognized nor appreciated the unconditional love of a dog. She was family. She filled me with joy and happiness.

Kate the puppy.
Her last day riding shotgun.

On Friday morning (Jan 24, 2020) I had to go into town. That morning she clung to me more than usual. When I opened the door she almost knocked me down to get to the truck. She was going with me come hell or high water. I had to help her into the truck and when we returned I had to help her out.

I had an appointment on Tuesday to have her euthanized to end her suffering. Little did I know but I think Kate did, that that would be her last ride and our last day together. We spent that day together and I cooked her a porterhouse steak for dinner. It was a good day.

She awoke me in the wee hours of Saturday morning, Jan 25 gasping for air. What happened then was down right ugly and heartbreaking. She fought hard and I felt so helpless. At 1:26 a.m. her fight was over. I had lost my best friend. At least her suffering was over.

Kate on her last day with me. RIP

Many won’t understand the devastation of losing a dog because they have not really understood the unconditional love they possess. The loss of Kate left a huge hole in my heart. I still come home looking for her to greet me. I am pretty much a loner by choice and I very rarely get lonely and when I do it is because of the void she left in my life. I will never forget her and the joy she brought me.

Meddlin’ Kate Jan 1, 2011 – Jan 25, 2020