Friday Firesmith – Life On The Road

It’s early August, and even at sundown, it feels like a sauna. The residual heat leaching out of the pavement is a second noon, a reheated breath of stale air leaving a twice-dead corpse. It rained and rained hard seven hours ago but the sun blasted it all to steam in less than a lunch break. What once was a half inch of rain is now a layer of thick, moist, air that holds heat and dust. The pavement is still hot to the touch long after the sun has gone.

When humans invented the first roads it seemed like such a great idea. The path was marked, well traveled, known, and maintained. But cars turned making a journey into a commute. The idea of enjoying a drive became the fact that it can be hellish for the traveler, and even worse on the Earth.

Each added lane of asphalt is another part of the Earth we live on made uninhabitable. Nothing can live there, nothing will ever grow there again, and a busy road means death, perhaps a slow and painful death, for any and all creatures trying to cross. The interstate system divides and separates ecosystems into smaller and smaller niches. Nothing will grow or live there, nothing is allowed to cross, and an alien world is created in which no life on Earth will ever exist.

But it may very well be the postmordial breeding ground for what comes next. We have all that we need for soup, you know. We have a toxic environment where there is no competition for resources, we have an unlimited supply of organic matter being continuously resupplied, we have water, oxygen, an unrelenting sun, and tiny cracks where these ingredients can spend years getting to know one another. The crushed bodies of animals, insects, and human beings even, are being compacted into the asphalt day after day, year after year, and how long will it be before some new life form begins to replicate, and feed?

You’ll be quick to point out, if you’re educated, that this isn’t at all how it happens, that new life forms don’t just pop out of the middle of the road, unless you’re Stephen King, and then it happens about once every twelve books.

When you look at California burning and see all those trees being wiped out, you have to wonder if their function in our ecosystem is going to be replaced, and how? What if it isn’t? You look at the blue-green algae bloom in Florida, which is so thick it’s hard to get a boat through it, and you have to wonder at what point is this the new normal? At what point are we going to have a system that creates single-cell algae and not trees? What are the consequences?

We cannot destroy life on this planet, but we can modify it to the point it can survive in a world where we recklessly change the environment without regard to the consequences of those who live here.

I do not see a road to survival here.

Take Care,
Mike

 

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
 
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.
 
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Friday Firesmith – Geezers and Plastic

A guy was two people ahead of me in the store today. He looked a lot older than I am, but that might be because he was bent over, seemed mildly confused about what was going on, and the Geezer kept looking around as if there was something happening around him, and maybe there was. He grinned at me and waved, and I waved back and looked around to see if it was really me he waved at.

I got up to the cashier, and I had about five items, and this Geezer comes up and starts asking me where I’ve been, how am I, and the first clue that I get that I might not actually know this person is he didn’t ask me about my dogs. Everyone always asks about my dogs, really. He doesn’t seem to understand that I’m trying to conduct a business transaction and the cashier, despite having my cloth bag right there in front of her, is putting one item in one plastic bag at a time. I have five items. She is using five plastic bags. I think I understand now why there’s a floating mass of plastic trash in the Pacific the size of Texas.

She revving up to check the next person out, I’m rebagging my stuff, and the geezer is standing there talking to me like we’re old friends and I still have zero idea who he might be. Worse, infinitely worse, as I’m trying to get my stuff out of the plastic bags and into the cloth bag, he reaches over and grabs me by the arm.

Okay, he’s old, and he’s clearly a little over the hill when it comes to his memory, or I am, one of the two, but at the same time, damn, man, who just reaches over and grabs other people? I’m not a touchy-feely type man to begin with. So, there’s the check out chick, who reaches over and puts something in my bag the guy behind me just paid for. There’s the old dude, who is still talking to me like he’s known me all my life, and then there’s the dude behind me who suddenly realizes that he and I are both trapped in some sort of weird alternative universe where no one really knows what’s going on. The cashier arches a brow at me, as if to tell me that my Senior Citizens Convention needs to meet elsewhere.

I get my stuff situated but the Geezer is just standing there, not letting me move, and I have to start moving forward to nudge him. There isn’t an easy way to tell someone to get the hell out of the way, so I just nod and tell him why yes I remember perfectly that time in Charleston when the gorilla… wait, what?

Another man, much younger than the Geezer, and for that matter, me, comes along and herds the Geezer away from me, and rolls his eyes at me. I’m not sure if he was eye rolling because the Geezer had trapped yet another person in conversation, or if he thought there are two Geezers, who can’t stop yapping.

So I’m left there, and I wonder if I heard the man right, if he said something about a gorilla in Charleston, or if he noticed I wasn’t paying attention and messing with me, or if my hearing, which has been bad for decades, decided to interpret something he said wrongly.

The guy that was behind me walks by me and I see he’s carrying ten items in about eighteen different bags, and it doesn’t register with him that he’s doing anything at all wrong, because paper bags were so last generation, and cloth bags, well, you know, I have no idea why they haven’t caught on, but suddenly I realize that he’s a lot younger than the Geezer and I.

I still remember when bottles, from shampoo (now that was a long time ago) to soft drinks, were all glass, and I remember when all bags were paper. I miss wooden boxes and the feel of a glass bottle when pouring a liquid. It was more stable than the light plastic stuff. The manager of the store comes over and speaks to me, because I’m just standing there lost in thought, and I realize, she too, is a hell of lot younger than I am.

I remember listening to old people, in their forties, when I was a kid, talk about how my generation was going to ruin the world with rock and roll and long hair. But I think we’re doing it with plastic instead. Our revolution wasn’t some dramatic change in the way things were run, but a very subtle insertion of a toxin, that took the place of nearly every container and packing material we once knew.

Take Care,
Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
 
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.
 
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Friday Firesmith – In The Beginning

Back in 2006 or 2007, I was having an online love affair with a woman from New Mexico. She was one of those people who knew where all the cool things online were, and one day she sent me a link to a site called “Bits and Pieces”.

I thought it was a great site, and I was amazed at how much stuff was there and how often it was updated. I was there before Naughty Bits came to pass, and I was there before the offshoots like Bits of Wisdom was born. Nevertheless, I was not one of the dinosaurs, the old-timers, and the Old Gods, who were there long before I was.

When the first tee shirts came out I got one, but I can’t find it right now. I remember when Gus was an only child and I remember when Trixie arrived. I remember the meetings in person, that my job kept me from attending, but somewhere out there is a photo of Jon and me together in Valdosta Georgia.

Believe it or not, I nearly bailed on the site, back when I first arrived, never to return, when Jon posted a photo of a guy running a marathon, who had lost control of his bodily functions in dramatic fashion. I thought it was in incredibly poor taste to post it, and so did some other people, but Jon didn’t take it down. One thing I have learned here is that Jon reacts poorly to pitchforks and torches. He’ll listen to what you have to say, but considering the amount of effort it takes to keep a website running the way this one runs, he’s well within his rights to post whatever the hell he wants.

After nearly six years, or seven by now, and that totals well over three hundred articles that I have written here, Jon has refused to post one, and cut another’s life short. I agreed with him on both occasions, in case you’re wondering. I don’t have any First Amendment rights when I operate on private property and neither does anyone else. That one of the biggest fallacies I know of on the internet. No one owes you a venue. Most of the net is private property and you being there means “terms of agreement” whether you read them or not. Like the constitution, you have to read it to know your rights.

I’ve made some friends, lost one recently that I regret, made FB friends with a good dozen of the regulars here, and the woman in New Mexico got married to someone else. I think I was here before I was on FB, and I’ve been there for a while now.

So how long have you been here? What’s your earliest memory of Bits and Pieces?

Take Care,
Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
 
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.
 
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Friday Firesmith – The Burned Spot on the Road

The accident, if you want to call it that, happened in 2006, or maybe 2007, I can’t remember which, really, but I do remember when someone called me to tell me there had been a death on the highway, and that a seven-year-old boy had been burned to death, as well as three other people. I knew the man who had to work the wreck, and he and his crew set up barrels and cones to guide traffic around the wreck scene while law enforcement investigated.

The way this played out was the car with the kid in it was going South on I-75 in Valdosta and came to Exit 18. In Georgia, exits are numbered by their distance from the state line, with the lowest number, Exit 2 being two miles north of Florida, and that means that Exit 18 is eighteen miles from the state line. At Exit 18 a car was trying to get onto I-75, the car with the kid in it didn’t get over, so the driver trying to get onto the interstate gets right up on the bumper of the car with the kid in it and eventually rams the car just short of Exit 16. It burst into flames on impact. Two miles. Less even.
This happened at about three in the morning where traffic is very light. The guy could have done just about anything and just kept going on his way, but no.

There was a burned spot on the Interstate where this happened, and it stayed there until 2010 when they resurfaced about eighteen miles of I-75, and then there was this nice smooth highway without a burn mark, but I can walk out there right now and tell you where it was. I remember the man who worked the wreck telling me about it one day, he was going to retire and it was things like that guy killing those people that pushed him towards it. Not that one incident, but over the period of almost three decades, the things he had seen finally got to him. He told me it was getting worse or he was just getting old, but it was getting to the point he dreaded the sun going down. We were standing out beside his truck and he stopped talking and I did too, and we stood there for a few minutes. I knew he wanted to say something, I had known the man for well over a decade and finally, he said, “I never got used to the smell” and I never asked him what he meant.

Your sense of entitlement, of possession, or territory, on the road, will get you into more trouble than anything else short of tequila. You think that anyone cutting you off in traffic has endangered you, and that’s true, but that wasn’t your space to begin with. The person might be an idiot, but you knew that coming in. You knew there would be stupid people. You have no right to anger on the road. You don’t have an obligation to retaliate.

There, in the space of a pair of minutes, perhaps, maybe less, a man changed the lives of a lot of people. The family of those killed in the car, the people in the car, and then the people who have to go out and clean up the bodies and the mess. The suffering lessens, yes, as the circle widens outward, it also draws in more people.

People like you.

Slow down. Back off. Just let it go, whatever it was, and remember that what you do at speed has consequences that might end in fire, and death, and misery.

“I never got used to the smell.”

Take Care,
Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
 
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.
 
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Friday Firesmith – The Dog I Wanted and the Dog I Got

Wrex Wyatt, pictured below on the right, was the dog I wanted. I was Wrex’s foster four years ago and he quickly was adopted by a very nice military couple. I was heartbroken. I really wanted to keep Wrex but he seemed a perfect fit for the new family. I sat in my truck and cried after losing him. Four years later they surrendered him back to the Humane Society for reasons that remain unclear to most. I stepped in and got my dog back. I held onto him for a month to see if he would get along with the rest of the pack, and he did. Wrex was before, and he is now, a dog with manners, and a sense of place inside a pack. Wrex was, and he is, loving and gentle. He’s polite to Lilith Anne, the Queen of the Pack, and he gets along with Tyger Linn, my slightly crazy brindle pit. Wrex Wyatt was the dog I wanted and I adopted him back in February of 2018.

Budlore Amadeus was The Dog Left Hanging. Someone tied him to the awning of the Humane Society building and abandoned him. The rope was too short so Bud had just enough space to have all four feet on the ground without choking. From the surveillance video, the people who left Bud were homeless. They thought they were doing the right thing.

Bud was loud, ill-mannered, greedy for food, and quick to fight. But mostly, Bud was heartbroken because the people he loved were gone, and he was terrified at the place he had been taken to, and he was unsure of me and my home, and my pack. He had the same Street Dog traits Tyger had come into the pack with and I quickly consulted with a professional dog trainer. Give him structure and love, she told me, and you cannot fail. And we humans, as a species, had failed Bud already.

Sometimes, a dog comes by and something in that animal speaks to you. No matter how large of a hot mess he might be, or how much damage he’s taken, or how poorly equipped you are to handle another dog, you have to take this dog in. Labeled aggressive and violent, Bud was not put up for adoption at the shelter, and he was literally on Death Row when I took him. The Humane Society allowed me to foster Bud through their system, and I started a fundraiser to get him fixed and vetted.

Bud and I have seen a professional trainer twice, and she agrees with me; there is nothing wrong with this dog. He’s still a little wild but he no longer is reactive. He no longer is a wild beast when I feed him. Bud has learned to lie down and wait until I tell him he can eat before he goes for his food. He’s learned not to try to steal treats from the other dogs, and he’s learning to explore the property without being right at my side all the time.

Wrex was the dog I wanted, well mannered and loving, sweet and low maintenance, and after four years, Wrex returned to me. Bud was not the dog I wanted, and was everything I did not want in a dog, and was the dog I was least prepared for. I have to embark upon the journey of learning to train Bud, and to heal the wounds inside that humans have inflicted upon him.

Bud was the dog I got. I adopted him legally one month after I took him in. Ever it may bring, Bud’s journey through the adoption and foster system, trying to find a home, ends at the foot of my bed. With the support of a professional dog trainer and encouragement of the people of the Humane Society who happily cheer us on, Bud is here to stay.

I’m going to change Bud’s life. I’m going to train him to be a part of this family. I will never give up on him. Bud is now, the dog I want.

Take Care,
Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
 
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.
 
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Friday Firesmith – Southern Cooking

When I was a child I had no idea at that the food I ate was a product of one particular region of the United States. It simply was the food that was there, and although there was spaghetti and pizza and things like that, I was in my twenties before I saw a Chinese Restaurant in The South, and I was in my thirties before I tried sushi. While we Southerners were very slow to change what sort of food we would eat, the food we did eat changed right under our noses, and we accepted it without comment or protest. We went from being a culture that prided itself on farm-fresh food to being a culture that bought more of our food than we grew, and suddenly, there were three main food groups in The South; grease, salt, and sugar. Gone completely was the pride and skill in culinary arts.

I grew up in a very robust and hardworking world. People were active, excessively so, and people met in backyards to drink and eat, and to play. It was warmer inside than outside, because no one had air conditioning, and so we grew gardens and we played physically in the heat, and no one ever complained about it.

I remember there being a lot of hot peppers when I was a child, but then there was a period of time everyone stepped back from eating them, or cooking with them, or flavoring their food with hot sauce. Mostly, this came from everyone eating out more, and people began being wimps about their food. As long as it salty that was all that mattered. Put enough salt in anything and it’s Southern. And toss in half a pack of bacon. Yeah, that’s all it takes to be Southern.

By the seventies, the South was known as The Stroke Belt, because people stayed inside and ate all the wrong foods. Diabetes became a cultural inheritance. People bought riding lawn mowers and installed air conditioning in farm equipment. The world I grew up in, and the food I once enjoyed was destroyed by the thermostat being set at sixty-five in June.

When I started growing hot peppers five or six years ago, I never realize it would awaken in me the urge to eat better, but it did. To eat very hot peppers, I had to do things right. I started using fresher ingredients. I started being a cook. I started understanding things that the women in my family knew a long time ago; it is worth the effort to coax the flavor out of food, instead of trying to force flavor into it.

I still use a push mower. I still get out in the heat and work in the yard. I still buy food at the Farmer’s Market, instead of eating out of a can or from somewhere the food is mass produced. Oddly, the one person who speaks openly against most things Southern, discovers that he’s more Southern than most of The South, at least as far as food goes.

Take Care,
Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
 
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.
 
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Friday Firesmith – In Fifty Years

Bruce and I were exchanging emails about a new “non-lethal” weapon the Chinese claim to have invented. It’s a laser rifle that can burn a person’s skin off at a half mile away and set fire to their clothes, all without making a sound or leaving a bright orange pulse of light. Invisible and silent, and setting fire to people.

What could possibly go wrong?

Once this sort of technology hits the streets of America, and you can rest assured that if it has a barrel and a stock, it is going to, then it’s going to get very ugly very quickly. The price will be too high for your average person to afford it, but as time wears on and the market broadens, this sort of thing will begin to show up in places you’d rather it not.

All of this is going to take place, I believe, in the next ten or so years, possibly faster. Let’s look at a few things that have happened in the last ten years, so we might draw some conclusions. The production and sale of “bath salts” and other synthetic compounds that have caused some truly bizarre, and often homicidal behavior in those who take the drugs, has gone through the roof. This coupled with the perfectly legal, and totally legit massively prescribed opiate painkillers have led to overdose being in the top five killers of Americans these days. Drug overdose is not just a cause of death, however, but a symptom of a much greater problem in this country.

I can’t remember what year it was, but there was a story about a Rottweiler who escaped from its backyard and mauled a child to death. It seemed an open and shut case of a large dog gone wrong until they examined the body of the dog and found dozens of pellets embedded in its skin, where children had used it for target practice. I’m pretty sure that when people get laser guns, dogs will suffer horribly for it.

There is truly nothing new under the sun, and I’m pretty sure that when BB guns came out there was someone out there who thought this was a quantum leap away from slingshots. And I would guess the slingshot was a quantum leap from just throwing a rock, and throwing rocks, at one time, spelled real danger for those who thought it would lead to greater misery. All of this is true, and none of it is true, and it depends more on how society shares its values, or lack of values, with the children of that society.

Having said that, I’m glad I won’t be here to see what happens in fifty more years. I grew up without air conditioning, without the internet, and without being offended very often by what other people said or thought. Cruelty wasn’t common, and addiction, nevermind, cigarettes and alcohol, sorry I brought that up. But the world is becoming a less compassionate place. The weapons I see arriving make me more than happy that in fifty years, likely less, I’ll be returned to the earth, as I should.

Take Care,
Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
 
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.
 
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Friday Firesmith – It’s the Humidity

If you live in The South, especially if you live in the Deep South, you have lived with Spanish Moss. It’s one of those ubiquitous Southern stage props, along with peanuts, drawls, iced tea, ignorance, and racism, that defines who we denizens of The South are, and in a way, the fact that it is neither a moss or Spanish is as Southern as everything else here.

The humidity is equally omnipresent here in The South. The atmosphere is usually at least fifty percent water, or some green algae pond fluid that has achieved liftoff due to triple-digit temperatures that settle over the land like a mother hen covering her eggs. You’re trapped. There is no escape. The weird thing about Spanish Moss is that it has to live in trees to be able to survive because the trees transpire. But there are places here in The South where the humidity is so prevalent that a piece of Spanish Moss hung on a fence will grow.

Historically speaking, The South had always fought hard to populate the bottom rankings in education. States With The Best School Systems The lower part of the chart is strongly represented by the Fire Ant line, and you have to wonder if breathing in all that pond water doesn’t cause brain damage. We Southerners breathe less oxygen than any other part of the nation. That has to take a toll on IQ.

Maybe this is the root cause of all those Southern things that seem inexplicable. Maybe the near drowning from the humidity and the baking of the sun, along with white sugar poisoning from the tea and the slowing of the blood flow from bacon grease, maybe there’s an explanation to be had as to why people from The South cannot master the English language nor stop trying to explain away the Civil War as some sort of protest against the Federal government. I’ve lived here all my life. There are a lot of people who truly see ignorance as a higher state of mind and a cultural birthright. They vote. They breed.

Maybe it isn’t the heat; maybe it’s the humidity.

We’re not about to start calling Spanish Moss anything but Spanish Moss, and suddenly tradition rears its ugly head when it comes to other things as well. We’re not going to stop speaking in a dialect that makes us sound like we were jettisoned from a caricature of a trailer park brawl. We’re not going to start investing culturally in science or the arts. We’re not going to even get past the idea of “Southern exceptionalism” even when we’ve got more people living on welfare than any other part of America.

We’re drowning in pond water, disguised as atmosphere, and it’s causing people to believe that living with brain damage from near drowning is normal, and actually preferable.

I think I just discovered what’s wrong here. And in a word, it’s figuratively, as well as literally, the air that we breathe.

Take Care,
Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
 
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.
 
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Friday Firesmith – The Butterfly Rainforest

I don’t get excited about a lot of things, but nature is one of the exceptions. Rarely, does a zoon or something like that really grab me, and even though I had heard a lot of great things about the Butterfly Rainforest, I wasn’t exactly in a hurry to go. But I have discovered in life that the act of putting yourself in motion and going to someplace new is sometimes in and of itself, the best part of the trip. It was not, however, in this case.

Without the Butterfly Rainforest, the Florida Museum of Natural History is in and of itself worth the trip. I won’t go into detail here, but I recommend you do the research on the site and decide for yourself. But I love that sort of thing, myself.

I foresaw an enclosure with a few butterflies and plants and envisioned some giant hardware store’s garden section or something like that. I might have been more wrong, but it would have taken some effort. At this point, I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.  Click images to enlarge.

   

 

The place was incredible. The plants were magnificent. There was a manmade stream with a giant live turtle, some flightless birds running around the floor of the jungle, and more plants and more flowers than I can show. I very rarely plug any place I’ve been because usually, the hype doesn’t live up to the reality. But I really cannot do this place justice with the space allowed. Take your kids. Take your parents. Go with someone who loves nature and enjoy.

Take Care,
Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
 
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.
 
Note:  For some unknown reason, comments were turned off for this post for a while Friday morning.  They should work now.
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Friday Firesmith – IHOPe

With the recent false drama swirling around IHOP’s not really changing their name, I’m reminded I haven’t set foot in that place since 2001. I lost IHOP in a divorce, and I think it’s time I went back. That’s a place that was blocked off in my mind, and maybe I should return.

My marriage was one bad day that stretched into another, and they bonded, and then they sought out more of their kind, until a week went by, and that week would seek a mate, much like I had, but it would find one, very much like itself, and they would try to have as many children as possible until a month had passed, without a single moment of joy to be found, anywhere, for any reason, not one.

This is unfair, I realize it, yet this is my story and I get to tell it, and I think at some level I have to tell it, and maybe you’ll see something of yourself in it, or something in your own life that you can change, and who knows, maybe I will. No one ever went into a shipwreck with someone else totally at the wheel, and if they did, that too is an act of irresponsibility, is it not?

But back to IHOP. One thing she could not do, would not do, refused to do, is order any sort of combination breakfast or dinner, lunch or snack, that didn’t involve something so totally off the wall that it had to, definitely had to, cost twice as much as anything else she could have done. This got to the point I would find the cheapest thing on the menu, the number one happy meal without the toy with water to drink, while she ordered a half orange juice and half pomegranate juice, with one egg fried and one scrambled, wheat bread toasted on just one side, and seven waffles, each of a different kind on each half. With blueberries.

She had a weight problem, and there she was, with a stack of waffles, four five-gallon buckets of syrup, and three cows worth of butter. I had two eggs and some toast with water. She kept sticking her fork in my face with a piece of waffle on it for me to try, but I wasn’t going to. This, I realized at that moment, defines how far apart this person and I were on the idea of financial responsibility. She had just started her own business, we were deeply in debt, and she had not stopped smoking cigarettes. We walked out of IHOP after dropped twenty-one bucks, plus a five-dollar tip. This represented nearly one-third of the money we had in the bank at the time.

The ride home was a thirty-minute long fight. We don’t have the money for this sort of thing, yes we do, I can make more money, why aren’t you making that money right now, it takes time to build a business, but you don’t have the money right now you cannot spend the money right now, and on and on and on. When we got home I asked her why she wasn’t going to work and she told me if I wasn’t going to work she wasn’t. So off to work I went, boots on, work clothes on, and I drive out about ten minutes and came back to find her sitting on the porch smoking cigarettes. I thought you were going to work. I thought YOU were going to work.

In less than a year later, it was over.

Money will drag down a relationship faster than drinking will. Unless there is a unified vision as to what money will be spent on and when, you’ve got a house fire on your hands. It will consume everything. You can hold onto a marriage without love, but it will die hard without money.

She wound up moving out of town, defaulting on a loan, and stealing things from people. I wound up in a house in the woods, trying to get my credit score back up in triple digit numbers. Both of us were as unhappy apart as we had been together, but the difference was I could see the future getting better as long as I could save some money. She saw the future getting better as long as no one knew where she was.

I haven’t gone to an IHOP since that day.

Did money play a part in your wreck of a relationship? How much?

Take Care,
Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
 
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.
 
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