Friday Firesmith – 90 Days

With three months left before retirement, some Great Truths are beginning to reveal themselves. These are personal Great Truths, some might be Universal as well, but the truth can be harsh, or not, but mostly it simply is what the truth always has been. Or not. Things change faster than we do most of our lives, and we tend to go with the flow of the currents that guide our lives. Some paddle harder than others, but at the end of all things, we’re all headed in the same direction.

The First Great Truth is that no one matters. Your career, your life, your accomplishments, your failures, your many hours lying awake at night worrying about first one thing and then the others in turn, for decades, perhaps, mean nothing. The people who employed you many years ago are gone, and new people are ushering in newer people every day of the week. Someone there longer than you left already, and in time, you’ll be gone too, and it will not make an ounce of difference to the desk you once called home. I’m sorry, but this is true.

The Second Great Truth is your life will not dramatically change by retirement or getting ready for retirement, unless you make this happen. If you simply walk out of the office one day, shake hands with people you’ve known since they had dark hair and you had some hair, when you wake up you will live in the same world.

The Last Great Truth, and there are many more I don’t know about yet, and many I will never know, is You Can’t Go Back, and you should never do so. Don’t be one of those people who “visit” your former place of employment because you haven’t planned your new life out yet. Don’t be a Ghost. Don’t haunt yourself or people you once knew. Invite them over for dinner if you miss those people, but don’t miss sitting in your office. It’s like someone missing their cell in prison.

Next Tuesday, I sign the paperwork, and then the countdown to October the First begins. The next ninety days I’ll tie up loose ends, make sure I don’t leave a mess, and basically shed my skin. I’ll take more Mondays and Fridays off. I’ll stay up later. I’ll sleep in. I’ll tell people that this isn’t my problem they’ll have to speak with someone else, because I simply cannot invest in the future here anymore.

For twenty-seven years, and six months, I’ve worked the same job, moving four times, buying two houses, and losing five dogs and a cat along the way. I got married and divorced. I started writing. I voted in every election. I watched a stranger die slow and realized that yes, infrequent as it might be, that too, was my job.

We’re likely to speak more of this as the time draws nearer, yes, and I hope there’s some insight I can provide in this process that might be useful. But here we go, the last week behind my desk before the paperwork is inked, and someone gives me a hard date as to when I can get up, and start all over again.

Take Care,

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.

Friday Firesmith – In The Moment

When I was a kid we had a hell of a good time with practically nothing more than what we found lying on the ground, and, of course, bicycles. I remember when Mark Kelly and I climbed up in a tree in a cow pasture and were way up high, in the crook of a branch that was really scary. Suddenly, the cows in the pasture came wandering up to sit in the shade of the tree, and we felt both trapped by the massive animals, and oddly like predators, ready to pounce upon the unsuspecting prey below.

In the moments that followed, we both whispered about getting, possibly, trampled in a stampede, which didn’t happen nearly as often as television shows suggested, as often as, let’s say, amnesia and quicksand, and how we might get one of the cows home, were we able to kill it, with a limb sharpened into a spear. Having nothing but a small pocketknife between the two of us, spear making was going to take a while, but hey, we would work up an appetite, right?

As the weather is wont to do in the Summers of South Georgia, the wind began to blow, a gentle breeze, welcomed, then hard enough to make the tree sway; a thunderstorm was about to begin, and we had to get out of that tree. The rumble of thunder hinted that we might be part of a cookout, and on the menu as well, were we struck by lightning while still stuck in the tree.

Of course, we climbed down, spooked some of the cows, others ignored such small creatures as we, but we managed to get close enough to the fence to drop over to the other side, just as the bottom fell out of the skies, and the deluge began. Sheets of rain pounded us, blinded us, as we ran towards my house, which was closer, and we finally gained the sanctuary of the carport. Soaking wet and breathless, we watched as the storm spent its fury and eventually, perhaps a half hour later, the sun came back out as if nothing had happened at all.

We didn’t need or want dry clothes, didn’t care that we were soaked, and no one did back then. We were barefooted and nearly feral. We wandered off to watch the water run out of the field and into the pond, or somewhere else. There was a sense of constant motion back then.

There is no record of any of these events. Not a video, not a photo of any sort, no mention of anything on social media at all. We weren’t tied down to chargers, had no fear of getting anything wet, and never paused to record a moment or take a photo. We were simply alive, and in this, had no need or means to save the moment in which we experienced life.

Do you think the ability, and the desire, to record memories, keeps you from making the most of the actual experience?

Take Care,

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.

Friday Firesmith – Please Control Your Crotch Goblins

Sunday, I went to the grocery store. I go in the middle of the afternoon, and it’s literally triple-digit heat out there. This is a good thing; most people will not brave that sort of heat for food. I park well away from the front door, near the cart corral, and in I go. The place is deserted. Almost.

The store recently became possessed entirely of the Satan so they moved everything around. Aisle shuffling, I’m told, increases sales, but it also increases the likelihood of someone pouring olive oil on themselves and setting themselves ablaze. Clean up on aisle four, I mean five, damn, where is the guy on fire?

So I’m staring at the shelves, trying to find olives stuffed with garlic, because it is of the Gods, and there’s a woman pushing a cart. She has two kids in tow, and a Crotch Goblin in front of the cart, pushing back against her. This is the most apt description of children I could possibly imagine. There that woman is, doing her best to buy food for this kid, and there he is, working against her as hard as he can, for no good reason at all. Back in the day, Mom would have beaten me bloody for such behavior, and the people in the store would have had no problems finding what aisle to clean up.

And it would be Summer. I’m just passing through the junk food aisle, because potato chips and I broke up recently, and I don’t want to be on friendly terms with them anymore. Potato chips are proof no matter how much you love someone, they can be really bad for you. But there, ahead, is an entire pack of Crotch Goblins. There’s five, no, six of them, and they’ve fashioned the Goblin Gang, that formation of children that renders any aisle of any store impassible. Yet they are there with two adults. Why didn’t one of the adults keep the Goblins outside, in a car with the windows rolled up, and the AC off, and not create this mess?And it would be Summer. One of the female Goblins, clearly pre-teen, is wearing a thong bathing suit bottom. Her butt cheeks are clearly showing. This is a child, in every sense of the word, and you took her out in public like this?

I don’t bother. I just back up and go around the whole hot mess, wondering if I’m going to run into that kid with a kid in a couple of years. If the Prosti-tot was raised to be a Crotch Goblin, what on earth will her daughter become?

Back into the heat, and into the parking lot, I feel the oven-like intensity of the asphalt. I’ve been working outside in the Summer heat for twenty-six years, and this year is the first time I haven’t had to get out into the open often or for long. I retire this year. I wonder if being inside more has made me more aware of how kids act, or if it’s just part of getting older and have less patience with younger people?
Take Care,

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.

Friday Firesmith – Chainsaw

It’s not a question if you’re afraid of a chainsaw, the real question being are you afraid enough? Saturday morning one of my oldest friends asked me to help her cut up a couple of trees that had fallen, and one of them was a giant limb from a Tung Oil tree. Tung Oil was what they put in paints to create a more beautiful finish on wood before the whole world turned into one massive petroleum product market. There are still relics of groves of these trees, and I’ve always thought they were beautiful. But to be perfectly honest, I think all trees are beautiful.

It’s a nightmarish situation, for someone trying to use a chainsaw. The limb is bent and grew twisted, with one sub-branch curving up and away from the main trunk of the limb. Worse, infinitely worse, the whole area is thick with vines, old vines, new vines, wild grape vines, wisteria vines, skinny vines, and one as thick as my wrist just out of reach. It is wrapped into the crown of the branch and we have no idea which way the pressure lies.
We start cutting small pieces off the ends. It will reduce weight and therefore release pressure. The big limb had fallen on a small tree, and we cut until the tree can come back upright, but it doesn’t.

Hmmm, there was no pressure there at all. That’s cool. We cut the big vine with a pole saw. It falls without consequence. Gosh, this turned out to be easier than we thought. We trim a branch here and there, and there doesn’t seem to be any hidden points of pressure anywhere else.

It’s hot, very hot, and there’s a never-ending cloud of gnats. There are yellow flies, the aggressive and evil type, that land and bite, testing a person’s reflexes. We finally talk about taking the sub-branch out, to see what will happen. We make the cut, but the branch is suspended in midair because of the vines.

At this point, with that branch removed from the main branch, the worries are over; there’s nothing left to fear.

Yet it’s never a question if you are lucky enough to be good, the real question is this one, and if you cut with a chainsaw, ask yourself this: Are you good enough to be lucky? I’m trying to pull the smaller limb down from the vines, and everything is going well. My friend is cutting the vines with the pole saw. I reposition. I move closer to the end of the branch and put a smaller tree in between the branch and myself. There really is no reason to do this, because the pressure is off, but I like the idea of being…
The branch separates from the butt end falls six inches, and the whole damn thing rolls faster than I can type it. The end where we had just cut the sub-branch hits the tree I’m behind and both of us stop and stare.
“How the &^% did that happen?” We both say this at the same time.

We still don’t know. We both thought it was on the ground. It looked like it was. If I had stayed where I was, this would have been a much more interesting story.

Take Care,

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.

Friday Firesmith – An Argument Starter

I work with traffic, and on occasion, I work in traffic. There’s nothing more contentious than putting a traffic signal at an intersection unless it’s the timing of that light. At the intersection of Saint Augustine Road and US84, aka Hill Avenue, things get plenty damn weird at a little after five. All of the businesses on the Industrial road let out at five. That’s about two miles away, so at five after five, there’s a herd of people heading towards this intersection. At ten after there is a crowd, and at eleven after five, you might as well be in a parking lot. From the time the light turns red until it turns green again, is two minutes and thirty seconds. The left turn lane, the one with the red line, has a light that stays green for only fifteen seconds. Rarely, very rarely, will cars at the end of the line be able to make it through in one cycle. This means they’re going to sit for a while.

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Here’s the issue I have. Note the side street, Hemlock. People trying to get out of that side street have to wait for a lot longer than the people in the turn lane. Now, there are usually no more than one, maybe two cars at any given time, while the turn lane looks like a Georgia road during an ice storm. Some good intention folk will stop, wave at the cars trapped on Hemlock, allowing them to merge, and the cars on Hemlock are free! Yay! That should give you a warm fuzzy feeling, right?

Meanwhile, fifteen people stacked up behind are watching the light go from green to yellow, to red, knowing they might not make it next time either. What this causes is a chain reaction of people getting to the turn lane, getting delayed, and this causes even more issues on Hemlock because there are now more cars than there would have been, had everyone just played by the rules. Does this make sense?

Okay, here’s the part that will cause the argument; this is true in nearly all cases where there’s a traffic light involved.

For every one person you help by letting them into traffic, you’re screwing over a dozen, maybe more. For that smile and a wave you’re getting, you are also generating swearing and a middle finger behind you. Of course, you can’t see this so it doesn’t matter as much, does it?

The argument against this is usually, “Well, you want people to let you in, don’t you?”

And that’s saying, “We should all do things for selfish reasons.” If it serves me or makes me feel good, then what does it matter if twenty people are inconvenienced?

That’s the argument for letting people in.

Take Care,

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.

Friday Firesmith – Stories from the Meter Box: Eden

There were two kinds of people, and only two kinds of people, when it came to those people who wouldn’t pay their water bill. There were those people whose lifestyle interfered with their bill paying, and there were those people who were broke. Thursdays meant we didn’t read meters. Thursdays meant we either cut the meters off, or put a lock on them. It also meant we had to interact with the people whose water had just been cut off.

All it really took to cut the water back on was a wrench. But if the customer did that, and didn’t pay their bill the next month, we’d put a lock on it, and that was a little harder to get through. If someone did bust the lock off, we’d remove the meter. If they put a straight line in, law enforcement would get involved. I had to testify in court one day that I found a straight line where the water meter was supposed to be.

People parked their cars over the meters, they piled brush on top of the boxes, and they generally would stand outside and threaten us if we tried to cut their water off. We cut off one meter and as we pulled away a man came out of the house wearing nothing but a towel. We also had a woman file a complaint that we cut her off even though she had a very sick father at home. He was really, really, sick, seeing he had died a year earlier. People will lie to you. They’ll tell you any tale that might work. I learned just to say “Yes ma’am,” or “Yes sir” and keep doing my job. We had someone put their dog droppings in a meter box, but we had Booger for that sort of thing. Booger was the guy who got all the nasty jobs. More on Booger later, but don’t eat before you read about Booger.

I had a guy help me remove his meter one day. He said he understood my job, and there was no sense in trying to hinder me, or change my mind. He was more than a little drunk, but one of those drunks that liked to shake your hand or hug you. I’d rather deal with violence. At least you can defend against that.

The hand-held computers that we carried were fairly new and they could be gamed. The meter reading had to be within a certain range or it would beep at you. A good meter reader knew about where a reading ought to be by entering readings until the computer stopped beeping. If a reader was really, very, good, it took just a few seconds. We got good reviews for accuracy, and so changing the reading so it fell within the expected range was considered accurate.

I came to a house that was well kept, but small. The roof was rusted tin, patched with other pieces of tin, and the siding was very old wood. There was an even older rocking chair on the porch. In the vacant lot next door, there was a Garden of Eden. Neat rows of corn, tomato plants, peppers, and all sorts of produce were in a well-tended garden that looked as if it had been tilled entirely by the thick handle hoe leaning on the fence. A hoe with a skinny handle is lighter, but a hoe used for real work has to be nearly a post with a metal head. A series of sprinklers were kicking out water and we learned this usually meant a high water bill. I stopped and entered a few numbers, down, down, down, down, down, whoa. I finally figured out the meter hadn’t moved at all in a month. I dug down under the meter and found a pipe, ran straight under the meter. This was theft, but clever theft. There was an old man in overalls that came out of the garden, waved at me, and came over, and he smiled. “Yeah, okay, this is all I got for food these days, and I don’t mind working for it, you know this isn’t easy,” was what his smile said.

I entered a number with the range I knew would be accurate, and I smiled back, and told him I’d see him next month. Nobody that worked that hard for food had money. I’ve been there.

Take Care,

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.


Friday Firesmith – Five Years

It was a pleasant Summer night, one where the asphalt hadn’t soaked up so much heat that it was still brutal two hours after sundown, but it didn’t matter. Tim and I were both laborers, men who were used to working in the sun all day, and we were both young. I worked at a wood yard and pulled a ten-hour shift every day; Tim was home for a while after working on an oil platform in the Gulf. We liked to smoke pot and then play tennis. We’d get off work, put on our shorts, meet at the courts, and play until they cut the lights off at ten.
Tim was better than I was for a while, but I was catching up with him, or the cigarettes were. He usually would win early and start fading. I learned to press hard, hit shots he had to chase and make the points last longer. Tim, on the other hand, tried to end games quickly. He relied heavily on his serve, but I was learning to counter it. Tim was five years older than I was, and it had been a fairly harsh five years in many cases.

A pickup drove by, the bed of it packed with young people, young men and women, and back in the day, no one cared if you rode around in the back of a pickup. They were yelling, screaming, holding up drinks, and having a great time. I realized they were celebrating High School graduation. “We’re seniors! 84! No more school!” They were yelling, and we yelled back.
“It’s been five years,” I told Tim.
“Ten here,” Tim gasped, looking for a break in the action. He lit another cigarette and I grinned. He played worse after smoking and it was a sign he was giving up on the idea of winning.
“Feels weird,” I said, and I watched the truck roll out of sight. Those people had been in the eighth grade when I graduated. They had been in the third grade when Tim walked across the stage.
“See Curt today?” Tim asked.
“Yeah, he’s going out with some chick he met at a grocery store,” I replied.
“Let’s burn one,” Tim suggested, and we walked out back of the tennis courts to a cornfield and smoked a joint. This was Tim’s way of trying to get some sort of advantage, but I smelled blood in the water.
We played until ten, and the lights went off automatically. We loaded our gear and drank a gallon of Gatorade, because that was what we did back then. Neither of us knew it, but in five years he and Curt would both be married and have kids, and I would be gone from our hometown forever.

Graduation was thirty-five years ago, this year. Tim has been dead for seven years, and Curt for five. A friend of mine’s youngest daughter is graduating this year. Her middle daughter graduated five years ago.
Those kids in the back of the truck graduated thirty years ago.

I hated every second of every day of High School. I would rather roller skate through hell for fifty years carrying fifty gallons of gasoline in glass containers while wearing rabid porcupines on my scrotum than go through four years of High School again. Mostly, it was a way of dividing the time, after graduation, than anything else.

I wonder at what point in time we stopped dividing time that way, and started dividing it by the deaths of the people we once loved?

Take Care,

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.


Friday Firesmith – Stories from the Meter Box

I used to tell people I was a Periodic Hydraulic Consumption Monitor and they would get this blank look until I explained I was a water meter reader. I worked for the city of Valdosta one Summer, and actually, despite the heat, it was one of the better jobs I had ever had. Think about it: you’re on your own for the whole day. No one is checking on you, no one is standing over you, and you meet a lot of dogs. What could be better? Honestly, I could finish off this entire year with Stories from the Meter Box, and each one would be entirely different. I held a record at one point for the most meters read in one day, and with 99% accuracy.
Other than the heat, which I was mostly immune to because I had worked in the fields as a young man, the only other drawback was fire ants. For those of you not from The South, the fire ant is a tiny any that lives in dirt mounds, which when disturbed, attacks by the hundreds, nay, the thousands and maybe even the billions. As small as they might be, they have horrible stings that burn like, well, fire. Fire ants discovered meter boxes make for incredibly good homes and it was a constant struggle not to get eaten alive each and every day.
Yet it was still a great job. I have always loved to walk, and it was outside. We worked ten hours a day and I tried to see how fast I could go in one shift. Also, there were neighborhoods in Valdosta that I might have never otherwise seen. The poorer sections of town were unknown to me, and I was amazed at some of the dilapidated buildings that passed for homes. But there were also very small, but extremely neat houses, postage stamp lawns manicured to perfection, and architecture long passed from better funded areas that were still well taken care of, despite the years.
Generally speaking, poorer people are friendlier folk. They’re more likely to offer water or soft drinks to a meter reader, and also more likely to offer shelter from a thunderstorm. The people with no money don’t obsess over losing it, and live more closely to other people rather than the things they own.
The summer was winding down. The sun was coming up later, the mornings were cooler, and my time with the city was coming to a close. It’s was the late 1980’s and jeans with holes in them were all the rage, but I came by mine naturally; I wore old clothes to work. Queen Street was one of those back streets off a back street, and I’m betting not one percent of the people in Valdosta knew it existed. I dropped to one knee to read a meter, and two houses past that point I felt it; a fire ant lit me up from inside my jeans. Close, very close, to the Promised Land, this thing latched onto me, and because they are never alone, I feared that might be a dozen more. Without a second thought, I dropped my jeans and started removing the fire ant, who clearly was the only one there.
I was not wearing underwear.

Suddenly, howls of female laughter came through a window and a woman fairly screamed, “Lawd look at that white hiney!” There were about twenty more meters to be read before I got off Queen Street, and I broke all records that day.

Take Care,

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.

Friday Firesmith – Kelly

I remember when I found out. News has been a part of my life since I was a little kid, and I learned at an early age the more sources for news the better informed a person could be. But this was a tsunami of photos, videos, of people talking about what had happened, and the horror grew with each passing moment. Gunmen had entered a school in Colorado and began shooting. There were bodies. There would be a death toll. There was even a music video of the crime, with Sarah McLaughlin’s “I will remember you,” playing as background to students jumping out of windows and running for their lives.

When I sat down to write this, I turned to what I knew, what I know, and it was my impulse to recite to you the news; the number of shootings since that day, this day, in 1999. I had the statistics and the numbers. But thus far, those numbers haven’t made one ounce of difference to anyone, anywhere. I realized they wouldn’t here, now, with you.

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Kelly was a shy girl from Arizona, whose family had recently moved to Colorado. Her parents looked for a school, a neighborhood, a small town, where their daughters would be safe. Creative and intelligent, Kelly began to write her autobiography, because she planned to have adventures in life worth writing about. She also wrote very dark stories, but the stories usually had happy endings. At age sixteen, she hoped one day to have a Mustang or maybe a Corvette, a fast car, to make the trip back to see her best friend in Arizona at a good speed.

But writing was Kelly’s real passion. Poems and short stories were what Kelly loved to create, and she wanted to be published.

Kelly was hiding under a table when the murderers came in and started shooting. At age sixteen, Kelly was shot in the back, in the library, and she crawled into the hallway before she died.

Her voice will forever be silent now. There will be no adventures in life for Kelly. There will be no more happy endings. The novel that might have been will never be. The inspiration she would have been to other writers ended.

Twenty years later, Kelly Fleming would now be thirty-six. Maybe a mom, certainly a writer, maybe a teacher, but no. Think about this for a moment; how many more writers, artists, moms, dads, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, firemen, policemen, soldiers, musicians, and all around average and decent people, have we lost? How many survivors will carry permanent damage, scars, physically and emotionally, that will stunt their lives forever? How many children will live with fear and guilt for the rest of their lives, having survived watching people they loved gunned down in the halls of our schools?

Pick one. Choose a child that has been murdered and do some research. Read what her parents said after she was put in a body bag on national television. Read what her siblings said about her life. Listen to her friends speak of someone they haven’t let go of yet and maybe they never will because I certainly cannot.

We haven’t done anything to protect our kids since 1999.

It’s been twenty years, when are we going to start?

Take Care,

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.


Friday Firesmith – Mom and Me

I’ll leave it to history to judge what happened between my oldest sister and my mother. Mom moved in with her after Mom’s husband of thirty-seven years died. Mom and sis lasted about a year or so, and then suddenly, right about the time Michael hit, they parted ways and Mom moved into an apartment. Well, I can’t image someone who has lived in a house with someone for most of her life suddenly moving into an apartment alone. It wasn’t working out, and Mom started talking about moving into an assisted living home. It’s been since 2001 since I lived with another human being, and there hasn’t been anyone in my spare bedroom since I had a party and someone tripped over the stuff in there and fell. Long story, nevermind.

So, March 16th,  we moved Mom in with the Mutts and me. She had come to visit a couple of times, to see what had to be done before she could get all her stuff in, and okay, it was a lot. But of all things, I saw coming, and all those I feared I might have missed, Budlore Amadeus, The Dog Life Hanging, adopted my mother.

No seriously.

From the first time she sat down on the sofa, Bud decided this was his human.

There was a lot of work to do to get the place ready for Mom to live in, and we had her stuff and my stuff, all of it, crammed into the house. There was hardly room to move around. It didn’t matter. The Pack rallied around the new person. Bud refused to share her. The first night here, he slept at the end of my Mama’s bed and guarded her.

We’re getting used to living in the same house again. That hasn’t happened since the 70’s, and at eighty-two, you can bet this woman was tossing the dice, big time, moving in with a Hermit who hasn’t shared a kitchen with anyone since Taylor Swift was in diapers. Yet here we are, with one of my most reactive and odd acting dogs, who suddenly decided that he was going to be a pillar of the community or pillar of the pack, and act right.

I took Mom to church last Sunday (Blogged it) and she didn’t like that one so we’re going to try again next Sunday. Mom wants to go to church and until she finds one she likes, I’m pulling escort duty.

In all of the divisive things I have ever written, and there have been times I’ve gone looking for a fight, this is something I bet we can all relate to this in some way. Mom has come home. Decades ago she brought me into this world and took care of me. Now, I have a chance to make sure my Mom spends her Golden Years in comfort and safety, and happy. We’re setting up a paint studio soon so she can paint and draw, and she spends time out on the deck, in the shade listening to the birds and watching the dogs play.

There’s a television my in the house now. That takes some getting used to, certainly.

All I know is an odd and troubled dog now has a mission. How he knew Mom was Mom and not just a guest, I cannot say. But the transition into moving into this house has been softened by the dog at her side.

How she slept her first night in the apartment, I cannot say, but this was her first night here.

My Mama is home. And my pack as risen to protect her and to love her.

This is the most awesome thing that has happened here in many years!

Take Care of your own,


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.