Jun 20 2010

Strenghth Then Medicate

I can’t help but have an opinion on kids that are so easily medicated these days. Now, I’m not saying if some of these kids were mine I wouldn’t medicate too. I’m not the strongest guy around. I do have kids and luckily I have not had to even think of medication. The Jack Daniels works fine (a little humor). I do say, from what I have seen, these kids, in many cases, have more ability in there somewhere to control it than they are pushed to use.

I’m sure glad we live in a time where our advancements have made drugs available for nearly everything, but it becomes difficult to distinguish a need from a cop-out. I’m not saying people should generally suffer or struggle when there is something that will make it easier, but one thing that is missing these days is the will to be as strong as you can first.

We teach our kids from day one that there is a pain pill for nearly everything they will ever encounter in life, and just exposing your kids to life’s pain, suffering, and smut, as liberals tout, prepares kids for tough times (because it’s easier than being a role model) does not make them strong! Life is a rugged road. You want people to be dedicated to being as strong as possible, and once they accomplish that, you know they are only popping the pills of life because they really need ’em.

I’m only saying people who wish to avoid the easy way out may actually be better prepared for life than those who always take the path of least resistance.

I was just talking to my wife and we pondered the concept that some of these so-called diseases kids have such as ADHD, ADD, etc. really should not be called a disease at all. I do understand the issues are REAL problems, so don’t misunderstand, but calling them a disease as they do, or even a disorder just somehow doesn’t sit right with me.

We all have different tendencies based on our personalities which I believe is based on our chemical makeup and a zillion other biological combinations.  Some characteristics are extreme and cause extreme behavior, but I don’t think that necessarily constitutes a disease. A problem yes, but a disease? Hell, if we are going to call those extreme personalities a disease, then seriously confused Liberals are as sick as dogs! Why isn’t extreme happiness a disease? Incessantly happy people are annoying as hell right? Why no pill for them? Actually most kids in so-called need of pills are incessantly happy. Lots of energy comes with happiness.

I am being extreme in my thinking to make just a tiny point. I do thank God for our world’ and our Forefathers for Conservatism, our heroic warriors for defeating leftist thinking and achieving the most prosperous, generous nation of freedom, liberty, and capitalism, and finally, I thank the heart and soul that has gone into most of our capitalism that has led to the development of the medications available to us today! We all need to push ourselves and our children to be strong individuals and to not let our strengths atrophy (rot) because we don’t use ’em anymore.

Jan 8 2010

Depend On People, Not Government!

The Byrd Family Safe, Sound And Cold!

The Byrd Family Safe, Sound And Cold!

I have to spew something here if you all don’t mind.  After 43 years, I may be realizing, I mean really realizing for the first time,  the absolutely obvious.  We cannot do it all ourselves. At one time in my life I think I made a deal with myself that to avoid many of the stresses in life I would never depend on anyone. While I have softened that view a tad with marriage and children, I think I still keep that wall of independence up. Well last night that wall came tumbling down.

I took my family on a four-day vacation to the Georgia mountains to see some snow, because we are Floridians and my kids have never seen snow! This was a trip that, minus the snow aspect, we have taken many times. Well let me tell you, I can only say I wouldn’t be writing this post this a.m. if it had not been for the kindness and assistance of other people. Snow we saw. After one wrong turn in my 4×4 F150 with street tires, we found ourselves swirling around mountain roads in the middle of nowhere for 5 hours.

After 12-ish hours in the truck with my 6-year-old son, 8-year-old daughter, and wife (whose age I suppose is unnecessary:), we find that against all attempts otherwise, night had fallen, the snow was falling like I only know from the movies, and the temperature was dropping into the teens.  Backbreaking hours of driving, slimy winding up and down mountain roads at a laughable 5mph, there appeared to be absolutely no end in sight. The navigation system in the truck is repeating to proceed cautiously as there is no navigation in this area! We were told by the second, third or maybe forth or fifth person giving us directions to turn the thing off! It will send you to places you don’t want to go!

The tension and stress are setting in despite all positive energy to suppress it and cover it. The feeling that no matter what decisions we make here, there seems to be a bigger plan at play regarding our fate today. The kids were so quiet it was creepy. Anyone with kids will tell you, you know something isn’t right if the kids are quiet in the car on vacation. We believed we were finally on the right track, heading away from what we hoped would be our final outcry for directions when we gracefully glided off the road at approximately 5mph and almost rolled the truck over as we landed about 6′ lower than the road. We drove right out as if someone was watching over us and, perhaps, they were.

We continued on, counting down the miles to our next turn only to find that the junction we had been waiting to reach for hours is another ten miles on the same kind of road. 10 miles which might as well have been a 100! We pressed on, still suppressing the massive, mounting tension that was to be inevitable. Somehow, we finally made it to familiar territory only a few miles from our destination.

At the local grocery that was still open when nothing else was (again watching over us) we met some more very kind locals who were amazed by our trek. They said the weather is getting worse, 6 inches of mountain snow are expected and our destination may be particularly dangerous to get to. We were told no plowing or salt is being put on the roads in this area, so for about the 15th time tonight were were told to PLEASE BE CAREFUL!!!. The tension that had finally subsided has now returned. Back in the truck we go to face the final stretch. My daughter has already expressed no longer wanting to see snow and wanting to turn around and go home.

The sign for our street is finally in sight, and at 5mp or less we carefully begin to turn onto our street when my truck decides to float uncontrollably on 2 inches of fresh snow into that street sign and into the ravine. My daughter is screaming, and my wife was — well, I don’t know what she was, but it wasn’t comforting I can tell you that. We realized we were okay and told the kids all was okay. I actually thought I could 4wd myself out of this and asked my wife and kids to get out of the car. After they got out, I realized that all of our belongings were piling up on top of me and pulling away from this one was so not an option. The truck was tipped to such an extent that my driver door only opened about 10 inches before hitting the ground. My running board was supporting my truck and my front driver wheel was dangling in mid air. My right rear wheel was dangling as well. My 4WD is now 2WD at best. Keep in mind, this is a pretty city 4×4, not a mountain truck.

Under normal conditions — we were only a few minutes from our place, but under these circumstances, walking from there just with our lives was not even an option. The temperature was in the teens, and even taking refuge in the truck until help arrived or, God forbid, until morning wasn’t an option due to the position of the truck. Don’t forget, 14 hours we have been at this with 2 kids! While I was on the cell phone (which did work in this location, again watching over us) I was finding out that towing services have no capabilities tonight. Just then a young kid, I would call him, stopped to ask if we needed help. We said, who can we call with a situation like this? He called his father to get a number of someone they know when, without delay, on this now eerie, desolate road, a giant Chevy duly truck passes us. As my disappointment begins to set in that he has passed, his break lights went on, and then his reverse lights. He backed up and asked if we had help on its way. I think I stated that it was in the works but I was freaking just a bit as I was realizing that we needed shelter tonight if we can’t get this truck out.

He said you drive, he told the kid, as I call him, to take this flashlight and alert any unlikely oncoming traffic over the hill that we are here. He said: Tell ya what I’m gonna do.. I una hook up a chain, and om gonna pull ya out”.  My wife was nowhere as I wanted her to take a photo because I knew this experience would eventually be behind us, but she was hiding out with the kids on someone’s yard because at this point she said she couldn’t watch. So as the man said, he attached the chain, I was in 4wd in reverse, and against my minimal knowledge of physics, he pulled me out like it was nothing (again someone watching over us). Neither would take a penny for their efforts and told us to drive in towards the cabin, stay on level ground and walk from there. We pushed the envelope yet again and actually arrived at our destination.

My children, who only hours before had been joyfully dreaming about frolicking in the snow, NOW HATE the snow and want to go home. I never stopped reminding myself that we would find shelter and we would survive, so don’t misunderstand any of this as a life-threatening experience, but I think we are numb to this kind of thing. We see it in the movies but the reality is that I, we, were rendered helpless and became absolutely dependent on the help of others. I’ve come away from this experience with a feeling of guilt for some reason. I suppose I should not be feeling this guilt, as I would have done the same for them given the situation.  It did make me realize that my walls of independence and expectation of getting through life without depending on others is unfair in a way and certainly unrealistic. I think this unreasonable expectation of myself has put an unnecessary burden on me. So perhaps from now on I will allow myself to depend on others more and perhaps those missing walls of protection will allow me better relationships.

Oh, one last thing, notice this real-life experience is about dependence on people, not Government!


Update: I realized the next morning that I forgot to bring the most important item of all, Coffee!! Snowed in a cabin for the weekend without coffee!! What do you know, the neighbors invited us in, gave us coffee and even gave us a ride in his HUGE snow proof truck to town to go shopping!