Simplify…

The last few years the concept of simplicity has been a major theme for me.  I have spent much of the last year decluttering my life and all the stuff I have unnecessarily collected. That included a closet of clothes never worn in several years and a 30×60 foot barn with decades worth of accumulated junk.

For some reason I now find it much more satisfying to live a cleaner life without so much stuff.  I don’t know if this is because I can see the end of the tunnel or if this has been a lifelong endeavor that is finally risen to the surface. Either way I am glad to welcome it into my world.

I searched out my photo library for what I think is the very idea of Simplify and came up with the following photo. Living simply does not mean living without beauty…

2000 297.jpg

My Small Town And Crime…

2016-04-22_10-04-25.pngI am going into my seventeenth year living in my small town in southwestern Indiana.  It is a town of about 2,000 people and a county of 20,000.  It is in the bottom 20% of the State in that regard. I certainly enjoy small town life.  I have been here long enough that most people at least know that I am the  old”deaf” guy. We aren’t quite “Mayberry” as portrayed to the right but we are probably about as white and as few in number.🙂

Our small daily newspaper, yeah we still have one, doesn’t have much of a staff so they for the most part just print what is given to them. It seems the majority of our daily newspaper is about high school sports and who recently died.  Investigative reporting is non-existent. There are occasional letters to the editor that discusses our local government but for the most part no one in government and especially law enforcement are seriously questioned.  That is an underlying theme for this post.

In the sixteen years I have lived here crime it seems has been pretty static, at least from what I can glean from the newspaper and talking to other townspeople. There was recently a murder of a small child that made State wide news but murder and robbery is thankfully a very rare occurrences in my small town. A couple of times a year I see where the sheriff raids another meth lab but for the most part my small town seems almost immune from the big city problems of Indianapolis which brings me to the main topic of this post.

The budgets related to criminal activities  in our county has taken a sharp increase in the last few years and I just can’t fathom why. For years we got by with one judge handling the legal matters for our county. Most, if not all, the county employees were housed in the 100 year old county courthouse.  And then things suddenly changed. About four years ago when our long-time circuit judge retired it was decided that one judge could not handle the volume anymore. We needed two judges now.

We also needed a greatly expanded support team including more deputies for the three enforcement agencies in our small county. So many more employees where added that they had to seek additional space beyond the court house. Of course along with all this demanded remodeling much of the court house space to accommodate the expanded bureaucracy.  More tax dollars…

Tax dollars dedicated to criminal activities have taken a giant leap here but I just don’t see the cause of it?  And now a plan is underway to close down three of the four courthouse entrance doors and to put some more newly hired  guards  with metal detectors and weapons at the final one.  Of course that means more expense.

Is all of this being caused by real threats or just  increased fear?  Since my county is very red when it comes to its politics I kind of think the later. Fear is very dominant on that side of the aisle.   But I won’t be voicing much opposition to these changes as I don’t want to be deemed the “troublemaker” in my small town.  That can almost be the kiss of social death in a small town….

The Mystery of Women…

canstockphoto20776568One afternoon my Grandad said to me, “Son, to men, women always remain a mysterious entity while to women, men become a flawed utility.” He made the comment with a chuckle and it made me smile because I remember Grandma telling grandad time and again that “You never load the dishwasher correctly,” or saying to any one present “He never puts things back in the right place,” which was possibly a little harsh. There were other observations of a similar nature but the irony was, if anyone else but her was forward enough to criticise him, she would launch herself at them with one or two of those pithy observations for which she was famous….

He was capable of wearing out her patience with an unbroken supply of good humour until she would just shake her head and retire behind her knitting. I remember him saying on another occasion, “When God created men and women a passing angel said, “If they don’t kill each other they’ll have to learn to live together” and I agree with that.

SOURCE:  A Difference Of Outlook | countingducks.

My friend over at the blog CountingDucks  gave me a mini-epiphany today with his latest post. When describing his grandparents he could have just as well described my wife and I. On occasion I wear my tee-shirt with the following words on it just to bug my wife.  “If a man says something and no women are around, is he still wrong!” Even after ten years it still raises a comment or two.

I have to say up front here that I had very early life experience with the opposite sex. I didn’t really get into any serious relationship until I was in my late thirties  so I was isolated from these facts of life.  When I first got married about the age of forty I began to understand that my wife looked at the world quite differently than I did. I was kind of the “live and let live” guy. I just took people for who they were and never thought of doing anything to try to change them. I appreciated the diversity of my friends, even the married ones.🙂

In my job in the corporate world I was frequently praised for the work I did. I got many “pat on the backs” and thank-yous as well as a few promotions. I knew what I did was appreciated. My vain pride was fully intact during those years.

Now that I have been married for almost thirty years  and especially since my retirement sixteen years ago the full force of this basic difference between some men and women has come to brutally hit me face on.  It seems that my wife believes that I can’t even flush a toilet without screwing it up. Almost everything I do is wrong according to her.  I sometimes feel that I am no longer a person of worth and that is a grinding thing that we men seem to have to put up with I guess. As the quote above says we have learned to live together without killing each other… I guess that is saying something.

Snowbound…

uRV Stranded

The pic above is of Merv (uRV). He is my truck of almost 25 years that I have been repurposing into a micro-RV for travels around the Midwest in the coming years in my own version of “Travels with Charley”.  I have spent two years turning what was once a delivery truck for my past furniture business into a quite comfortable 5×8 foot living quarters. This spring I will start with the exterior design which will include advertising this blog and the travelogue over at InSearchOfAmerica.

In the mean time here sits uRV up to his wheels in the most recent snow storm. I know I shouldn’t complain as this is actually the first major snowfall to hit us this year. Last year at this time we had already had about 60 inches of snow. And then of course are my eastern neighbors.  If uRV were in Boston you wouldn’t see anything but a mound of snow.

Hopefully uRV will soon escape his snowbound condition and be ready to jump into action.