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.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Parents and Children

With all due respect to Merri and Steve (jamminalong) on RV Dreams forum, I will have to disagree a bit with a comment they made on a recent thread there, and kindly allow me to explain. I do not believe that anything they said was intended to be derogatory, nor do I believe that their comment does not lack merit. It is simply that their comment made me consider what has happened to the condition of our families.

First, here is a link to the thread on which they commented:


I am 65 years old and grew up in the Oklahoma Panhandle.  You don't find people much more independent than the folks out there.  The earlier settlers had children and those children were expected to help the family by working on the farm.  As time and generations progressed, things got somewhat easier for the families and the farms with the advent of more equipment with which to work the farms.

A couple of years ago, I had a conversation with our oldest son, the only one married and with children, and he told me that he and his wife believed that the priority for the family was the children.  I disagreed with him, explaining that the priority is on the entire family.  Just because a child has a "need" doesn't mean that the adults do without things, possibly leading to health issues, and then be unable to provide for the family.

In essence, no child is more important than the family as a whole.  While it is natural for good parents to want to provide a lot for their children, I think it leads to a situation where the kids begin to believe that it is what they want that is important.  This is not necessarily the fault of the parents.  Sometimes the children get those ideas from their peers.  (What?  You only have a cell phone and not an I-Phone?)

Sadly, some areas of the country are worse than others about fostering a selfish attitude.  To this day, children in the Oklahoma Panhandle grow up knowing that at some age, they will be expected to help work the farm.  Most of them relish the thought, wanting to drive the tractor, until they see how many hours a week are needed to get the jobs done.  But, in the end, they fully realize the importance of the help they provide.  I think that gives them a better perspective on the importance of the family.

At what age do we quit providing for our kids?  How long in life are we going to keep 4 bedroom homes just so the kids can still "sleep in their rooms?"  At what point are we free to say that now we live for ourselves.  A lot of people have worked for 50+ years and I feel they deserve something for themselves, especially since the children should be able to be independent and provide for themselves.

I hope this does not offend anyone.  I am a firm believer in having strong families, but not families where some members try to hinder the others of their families.  In the past, I've worked jobs where I was away from my family for day and weeks at a time.  It was something I sacrificed to try to provide for my family.  To this day, I think one of my sons disrespects me because I "wasn't there for him" and the other, oddly the younger one, shows me great respect.

So, did I fail the family by my absence?  If my wife and youngest son recognize the sacrifices I made, should I worry that the older son doesn't?  I don't.  In our family, everyone but me holds a college degree.  Everyone that has a degree worked for them and that has bolstered my pride in all three of them.

So, when considering our children of this day and age, it would be advisable for parents to make sure that the children know that the “family” comes first before any single individual of the family. If a child has serious health issues, then the family should work and sacrifice to help that child. But, if a child of a family admonishes a parent simply because that child is selfish, it is simply a wrong attitude and a wrong admonition.

OK. The old codger has spoken and demonstrated that the “reactionary” upbringing he had led to an “outdated” opinion. But, having seen the independence of a people who suffered much during the depression, the “Dirty Thirties” and the “Dust Bowl,” I’ve learned the lessons that they taught and those they demonstrated in the way they lived their lives.

I find it sad that the families of today have not had the chance to see the difficulties that were encountered, but also that those difficulties built steel into the fabric of those families.

Oh, heck! Why not say it….

It was the Hippies and that generation that helped foul up this society. I think morality, drugs, and attitudes changed drastically with that generation. Sadly, I was a part of it, being 18 years old in 1964, but I didn’t participate. While others went off to “find themselves,” I knew exactly who I was and where I was. I didn’t need drugs then (or now) because I am high on LIFE!

6 Sniffed Suitcase at Airport


  1. Terry, while I agree the hippie generation made the most impact on morality and such in my lifetime, a comment made long ago always comes to mind when I think on the "problems" facing us today. He said, "our young women are immodest in their dress, and our young men do not respect their elders, I despair". Seems very true in todays world, and makes me think the comment was written a week ago. Actually, it was Aristotle. That, in and of itself, makes me think we are not so bad off.
    I agree that the generation that survived the dust bowl or dirty thirties are as solid as rocks. They faced adversity head on and just made it through.
    I differ from some of the quoted posters on the thread that started your musings. They seem to be advising the poster to consider both sides, think of what they did wrong in raising their kids and try to come to some common ground. No! When we have kids, it is our obligation to do our best for them and help them reach maturity. Then, we enjoy visits and time together, but they are on their own. All three of our daughters are doing well. All of them agree with our choices (although the oldest says we are too far away).
    I am like you, I have had to work strange hours and I missed a lot of school activities because of the hours. I had to work a lot of holidays, but we had holidays when we could. Mom and Dad are not required to "keep a house so the kids can come home for holidays".
    Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

  2. Well, I do not always agree with everything you have to say - although I do find myself agreeing with more than I use to and what I do not agree with I'm finding I understand your point of view. I also must add that I'm finding this a tad scary :>)
    I'm 71 and family life as I knew it is all but GONE. All the fancy gadgets - peer pressure for both kids and adults - the need to have more than anyone else etc etc these are but some of the many things that have helped to destroy family values. We sat down every Sunday with all the family and had Sunday dinner and most of the time there was a relative or two present.
    The need to work more to get more has also IMHO had a big impact on the loss of family life. Kids today feel entitled and that IMHO is mostly the fault of the parents. Kids today do not step up and accept responsibility they have not been made to nor would they think of it on their own- again most likely the partents at fault - it was/is easier to give in than stand OUR ground. Of course not all kids are like this but I fear the majority are. At 71 and I'm glad I won't be here when the teenagers of today run this country.
    Do I have kids???? I did. My son and I were best friends - sort of like that TV program of old - where Eddie and his dad were Best Friends. Long story short - I gave him everything he needed and to my shame most everything he wanted (which were the things he did not need.) He got married - his wife decided that we were TOO CLOSE and was able to put a very big wedge between us. He chose his wife and agreed to dedicate his life to only her and cast me aside like a piece of - - - -.
    That was 5 years ago - we have not spoken since - NOR will we.
    So parents spare the rod and spoil the child - most of the time does not bring good results.
    Once kids are over 21 - set them free - cross your fingers - and start enjoying your life. If you want to spoil someone - spoil yourselves.

  3. The best thing we could do for our kids is teach them to think for themselves . . . to figure out solutions . . . to develop their own beliefs. Sadly, instead, most of us provide way to much for them, hover over them to help them avoid any tough situations, and make sure they pattern their lives after our own. We think we're helping - we're only weakening them. If I could go back and raise them again, this would be my guide.


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