Struggle and Strife, But Life Goes On

We live on an amazing planet. Life is a tenacious, self motivated entity that struggles and strives to not only exist, but to thrive, grow, and reproduce. Just walk down a city street, and find a plant growing in a crack, straining upwards for every bit of sunlight it can reach, and pushing its roots down, pulling every bit of moisture and nutrients that it can find. This goes on every day, all around

Amaranth in Key West
Amaranth growing on a sidewalk in Key West on Duval St.

us, yet being the self-centered race that we are, most of us seldom notice it.

This is not a shot at everyone that misses the little things, this is simply a statement of fact. The world moves on around us, and we are mostly oblivious to it. Work, health, politics, religion, TV, sports, money…things distract us from what goes on around us, and we miss out on some amazing and wonderful things.

In short, we get busy.

I’ve not written consistently in a very long time, particularly when I was writing 5 or more articles a week for two years or more. Part of it was burn-out. And part of it was that I simply got too busy. My “job” has seen a decent amount of growth, enough that I’ve had to start putting more time in. I’ve also picked up several interests that are soaking up whatever time I have.

And I’ve lost a few friends over the last six months, folks in their mid 40’s that I simply do not consider “old”, and definitely not old enough to die. It’s made me pause, look at things a bit closer, and try to not only realize that money is not everything, but that time spent wisely offers far more rewards (to me at least). It may not buy a fancy car, make the mortgage payment, or even provide a decent meal….but good memories LAST.

Think back to a bad moment in your life, something simple, say chicken pox or a horrible test in school you DREADED. What do you recall? If you are like me, not much. A fleeting glimpse of some of what happened is the best I can muster when trying to remember bad times.

Now think back to something wonderful. Your wedding, a child’s birth, or simply an evening hanging out with long lost friends. Those moment stand out, maybe not every detail, but you REMEMBER them.

I cannot recall much of the details of the winter I was living on my own, in a one room shack with a single light bulb and an open flame as the only “niceties” I had…the shack didn’t even have running water. And no food. Life was tough at that point, but all I recall was a general sense of misery. I can PROMISE it was a nasty, hard, cold, hungry time in my life…luckily, I recall very few details.

Then take the birth of my second daughter. She was born in a Women’s Center, with a midwife. The Center had four rooms, set up as bedrooms, for 4 deliveries at once, should they get that busy. I can recall the plaid curtains, the pictures of sailboats, and the color of my daughter’s hair as I saw her head crown just before I pulled her into the world. I gently laid her on her mother’s chest, and smiled, cried, and laughed all at the same time, as I asked, “Boy or girl?” I can go on with details of that moment as though it were last week…it was important to me, so I have retained it.

And there we have the point of my ramblings. Make more of the important times, however you can. Move past the hardships, knowing you won’t recall much of them later. Do the things you WANT to do, not the things that you HAVE to do. (Yes, easier said than done, I know.)

I’m trying to teach myself to say “No” more often. I love to help out in any way I am able to. But by saying yes, I tend to get bogged down. A friend of mine, Sunne, who is a very gifted person with the ability to read and understand a person (glad I never played poker with her!), once told me that I am a giver, and need to learn to ask for help when I need it, and learn to take more time for myself instead of rushing around trying to help everybody else.

I’m trying, Sunne…

Moving forward, I’d like to get back into writing more. Yes, I’ve said before…and I meant it then as well…I’m hoping this time I’ll be more successful…

I have a domino affect of things limiting my forward progress, and am starting today in trying to rectify the situation.

To start, I’ve taken a one week hiatus from Facebook. I love interacting with friends and family there, but it soaks up HOURS of my time that would be better spent elsewhere.

This should free up time to sort out my walk in pantry. While we were out of town for a week, we had a storage shelf collapse. A shelf that held bottles of vodka, rum, tequila, whiskey and over a gallon of my Hickory Bark Syrup. Many of the bottles and jars were smashed when they hit the floor, then allowed to air dry for several days. This left a mixture of glass shards and dried sugar all over our wood parquet floor.

Sorting out the salvageables from the lost causes took almost a week, between recovering from a week away and playing catchup from missing a week’s worth of work. This also left all of the salvaged goods on the kitchen table…where they still sit as we try to get the floor cleaned. Multiple moppings using hot water have cleaned up almost everything, thankfully. but it’s been a tedious process.

It has also tied up the kitchen table, so I’ve not had any room to work in sending out the rest of the Everglades Seed requests. The good news there is that I’ve filled most of the requests while on vacation, thanks to Brian over at The Wannabe Homesteader. (THANKS, B!)

I’ve also let my raised beds go crazy. Water + sunshine + fertile soil here in Ag Zone 10A = gianourmous weeds. This is also on my list of things to fix in my life..sooner rather than later.

I’ve also kicked around the idea of doing audio versions of my articles, there seems to be a little bit of interest…if I thought there was a real need for it, I might push it further up the list…I also have to find a way to make it worth my while…yes that means monetizing it. Ads, donations, and subscription services are options I’m looking into…the most likely being the donations angle.

…nothing like the old NPR/ Jerry Lewis Telethon pitch ever episode 😛

So I ask you in a poll here:

Are you interested in an Audio Version of my articles?

View Results

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So there. I sat down with the intent to write something….hell, ANYTHING…and I think I’ve started my writing juices to flow.


Let’s hope I can maintain a decent pace…I am kind of old you know 😛



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  1. This “city on the bay” girl has slowed it down for a week in wild, wonderful WV. Dane is with me, so every little thing is BIG to him. Slugs and bugs under every turned rock, soft moss beds in the woods atop Hunter Hill. The rabbit family living in a tree trunk. And farming galore! So far we have planted (4) 12′ rows of potatoes with a ton of marigolds surrounding them. Two more grape vines. Concord. Tons of tomatoes, a variety of peppers, spinach, lettuces, herbs and several starters under the grow light ready to go in the ground. Mom’s garden will be stellar this year! I wish I could attach pics!
    One of my favorite things about being here is night time. It’s so dark. The sky is amazing. Like the song “a backlit canopy with holes punched in it”. A pletherea of stars like you’ve never seen. I’ll be on the rooftop again tonight.
    Thanks for writing. I missed it:)

  2. Like you I’ve lost both friends and family in the last couple of years. I think we all need to step back and slow down when our world gets crazy and moves too fast.
    I continue to learn new skills, attempt to grow some vegetables and work on organizing my supplies. However, I now take time to actually take time to be with the people in my life…just trying to live in the moment. Was exhausting watching loved ones die and worrying about the future of my family.
    Had no idea how easy it is to just say, “No” when others demand my time and energy. Just turned the “no” into a joke…..”I would love to help you, but I am old and could die at any moment and I don’t want to die face down in the middle of cooking a roast for your party. If I don’t die I will pick up a cake from the bakery on my way to your party.” I lived, I bought a cake and the party was great…

  3. DB,
    My thoughts are with you for your losses. However at these times maybe we are looking at things the wrong way. During our darkest moments we learn our greatest lessons of life. However this only works if choose to follow the new path. Like you, I am a giving person too. Give to the people who are consistent and a positive influence in your life. Learn to turn the “noise off” these are the takers that just occupy your time and take you away from the ones who really love you. Always stay centered, finding time for friends and family, exercise and time for your writing. I wish you happiness.
    Happy reader

    1. Part of building community (a life-long endeavor for me) is choosing the rights folks to have around…

      thanks for the kind words…

  4. I lost some close friends in 2012….it took me a while to get used to them not being on the same planet any more…….
    In time we learn to live with the loss. For purely selfish reasons I hope you are able to write more…yours is one of very few blogs I follow and I’ve enjoyed it very much.
    best of luck and best wishes to you, whatever you wind up doing.

  5. Hunter S. Thompson wrote, “Although I don’t feel that it’s at all necessary to tell you how I feel about the principle of individuality, I know that I’m going to have to spend the rest of my life expressing it one way or another, and I think that I’ll accomplish more by expressing it on the keys of a typewriter than by letting it express itself in sudden outbursts of frustrated violence. . . .”

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