Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Gentlemen…Do Not Attempt This At Home

Ahh. February 14 has arrived with all the angst that comes with a date that I think was created by the devil. Or, an attention starved woman. However, in our house, it is different. There are no real worries for this holiday for me.

Now, at work, that is another thing. I work with six ladies, ranging from 57 to 74. No guys…just me. Over the years that I have worked with them, I’ve gotten no end of grief when I tell them that I just don’t do anything for Jo on Valentine’s Day; or, any other days as well. This is partly because I have a tendency to forget “anniversaries” and holidays like Valentine’s Day. I also almost always forget her birthday as well.

Over the many years, over 42 that we’ve been married, I’ve occasionally remembered to buy a few flowers or maybe a card, but we have never lived in places where one can do a BIG DATE with one’s wife. You know, something like agricultural areas. Even after we moved to the city, things really didn’t get much better. For a long time, we kind of struggled with money, trying to provide for the family.

Several years ago, I finally broke down and did what I thought would be nice. I didn’t want to do flowers because they wilt. I didn’t want to do a BIG DATE because it would only be a memory and later we probably wouldn’t even remember what we ate or maybe even where. Then I hit upon it. Or actually, I heard about it on the radio. A Vermont Teddy Bear would be just the ticket. It would be cute, it would last for a long, long time, and when she saw it, she would remember that occasion perhaps.

I perused the Vermont Teddy Bear website and decided upon one called “Undercover Lover” which is a bear dressed in a fedora, sunglasses, and a trench coat with a badge attached on the inside of the liner. I ordered it and had it sent to work. On the day it was to arrive, I told the receptionist to be sure and call me before she called Jo to let her know that a package had arrived for her.

That gave me time to get into a position where I could see her open it, and then after she saw what it was, I opened the door from where I was and joined her. Huh. She wasn’t really excited about it, but what the hey, I had surprised her.

However, since that day, she has informed me that I am to NEVER do that again. She doesn’t want money to be spent on her in that way. So, I adhere to her wishes and never buy her anything.

So, the ladies I work with have given me grief over the years. I have told them that Jo doesn’t want me spending money on her. I still get grief from them. Finally, when Jo was down in our work area for a little departmental lunch, the subject was brought up by one of my co-workers about me not getting her things, or taking her out, or anything else for that matter.

So, Jo simply told them what I had told them in the past and that she didn’t want the gifts, or chocolates, or flowers, or dates, etc. I think they have finally gotten the message.

I have written before that I am so blessed in that I have such a great wife. Jo told them again today at our departmental “Un-Valentine’s Day” luncheon that any money we had was to be saved for the time when we retire and start traveling. It was an “Un-Valentine’s Day” at work because of all the six women I work with, only one is married and NONE of the single ones are looking for a guy.

Now, I can’t say that I definitely know the secret to my success for not worrying about Valentine’s Day and other holidays, but I have a suspicion. Many years ago, I happened to fall in love and marry a great girl. The most remarkable thing with her is that she is a farm girl. Not only is she a farm girl, she is also a “Tomboy” farm girl. She doesn’t like the frilly and fancy.

So, if any of you guys out there are looking for a mate, look for a Tomboy Farm Girl. You’ll sure save money. One other thing I will mention about saving money is to do what I did. Marry your sweetheart on Christmas Day. Not only do you NOT forget the wedding anniversary, but you can buy one gift and two cards, thus saving more money.

Like I said…..

…..Do Not Try This At Home.

The Vermont Teddy Bear Company “Undercover Lover” Bear


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