Friday, January 4, 2008

ENLIGHTENMENT - Thoughts on Life

Douglas, Happy, Sigh, Shade and I went to the ruins this morning and spent a couple hours of sloth just kicking about the vicinity of the ruins and doing things like pealing bark off tree trunks and looking for moles and shrews. It was simply a lazy morning. I sat on the marble steps that lead up to the now missing front porch of the old house and sat down. Happy graced me with her presence while the two ramblers, Douglas and Shade sought out squirrels and other adventure. Sigh just sat and waited over by two huge trees to our right. Nothing bothers her. She is on her own planet in another world. She's very old and has earned the right to do whatever she feels like. I help her anyway I can. It is very peaceful down at that place and I can think with an uncluttered mind. It's amazing how thoughts pop into my head when I am out of the social atmosphere. I immediately thought about what has happened in my life up until now. Topics relating to my life have been floating in and out of my thought processes a lot lately. Never, until I moved down here from Pennsylvania. I wondered why. And It all came together. I have had relatively good luck with well paying jobs my entire life. Industry management has been my background ever since the seventies when Volkswagen Of America produced cars in New Stanton, Pennsylvania. Even before that, after a return from the Vietnam "conflict", I worked in factories, like most folks, as a line worker. But Volkswagen gave me my first real management break. I grabbed it and held on tight and studied hard. The principles of management apply universally to any industry. So how does all this background apply to this day at the ruins and how does it have any affect on my life now? As I said before I have been fortunate to have fairly good jobs while working in industry. Four years ago I abruptly severed my tenure with a company I had been with for twelve years. I was simply burned out. A plant manager's position proved to be stressful to the point of affecting my personal life. I felt that if I was going to seek another job in Pennsylvania; I may as well move to an area with a better climate. I have taken many motorcycle rides to Tennessee over the last forty years and Tennessee would be my destination. However, my attempts at securing an industrial job in supervision proved difficult. Actually it proved impossible. I am over sixty years old and that has proved to be a hurtle I can not overcome. Age does make an employment difference! That's ok. I have had some great employment experiences while here. TWRA is an experience I would not trade for anything on this planet. My current place of employment, Smoky Mt. Harley Davidson & Buell, is the finest motorcycle dealership, I feel, in the United States. So what's this blog entry all about? Why the constant personal mental harassment? I have been trying to understand why I have turned out the way I have. I used to buy what I wanted when I wanted. I went out to restaurants for dinner, went to social functions, hung out with friends, went to motorcycle rallies, had nice cars and had some really nice girl friends. Now, I can't stand to go to cities, drive four lane roads, deal with any traffic and enjoy the company of dogs. I met the finest lady in the world and ruined that. I can lay back in the leaves and stare at the sky and listen to the lapping water on the shore of the lake and ponder what I'm all about. I would rather be with my dog friends than human friends. I have acquired an intense interest in history and an even more intense concern about the natural world. Man has proven to be a poor steward of the natural things around him and the planet in general. And man will eventually ruin it all. However, I feel richer since I moved to Tennessee than when I made great money in Pennsylvania. Oh, I miss my friends, and my seventy year old cousin in Scottdale, Pennsylvania. But I feel much at peace here; now. Why? I do not own a house. I'm not even sure where I'll be living this summer. I have to leave this warehouse room I am living in now this summer. I do not have near the income I had in Pennsylvania. I used to drive current cars or trucks. I drive a 1991 Ford pickup truck down here. I met a fine lady here in Tennessee and lost her. All my fault. Greedy with my time. The reason, I believe, is that I brought my "can do it all by myself attitude" with me to this new life. I have been a loner all my life, but this new environment I have entered has allowed me to grow my character and desire for change. The realization of this has been too late to save a fine loving relationship. Greedy with my time and a loner mentality quashed a great relationship with a great lady. I always have been a late responder in areas of relationships. It is my tragic loss. I have time to think. I think about history. I think about wildlife. There is time to allow the beauty of the wilderness to permeate the inner fiber of me. Being alone, I camp on islands, capture pictures of wildlife, ride out the storms that appear on the lakes while more sane people scramble for the boat docks. I don't have to drive the newest cars. I don't need the finest clothes. No one cares here. I don't have the income to buy what I want when I want it. I am limited. My efforts to buy and acquire are diverted toward more sensible things that really matter. I have acquired a great respect for dogs. History; nature. I have stood on the spot where the first inhabitants in Tennessee made their start. My feet have touched the sacred ground where the trail of tear's commenced. I can visit ancient properties dating back to pre Tennessee times when Tennessee was a territory inhabited by Cherokee's. My heart breaks each time I see bull dozer's push Tennessee's history into heaps of dirt in preparation for developement. History is important and I do not believe it receives enough emphasis in schools. History is our heritage and It is not sacred here in Tennessee. It is not even held in very high esteem at all. The dollar is the sacred item that is coveted at the expense of all that is natural. I find it amazing that in four short years my interest's have been altered from a success oriented life to that of a laid back, environmentally concerned person who is disgusted with the lack of political involvement involving things natural and historical. Lonesome I am and probably always will be. It's my own doing. I've had my chance to change that and blew it. But I am richer for this Tennessee experience. I believe I have found myself. Not my purpose. But I understand myself better, I believe. It is a evolvement that, I think, a young person can not accomplish. One has to have lived and experienced life in order to arrive at the conclusions I have. By the way; I discovered from an old history buff that the Tuskeegee Plantation, better known as the McGee/Carson house was not burned by hippies in 1986. The park service acquired the property from TVA in 1987 and decided to convert it into a park headquarters. They put the electric power to it before an inspection was completed. It instantly burned. History. The people who live here don't even know that. I wonder what political movement will destroy this beautiful area I call the ruins. The Tuskeegee Plantation; once a beautiful plantation before the Civil War. Then used as a Confederate Headquarters one year into the war. The Union drove out the Confederates after a rather harsh battle and they used it as an outpost for seven months. Blood ran free on that property. Maybe a new Rarity development of some sort will benefit the county by obliterating that old useless ruin's area. Good for jobs. Just doing some mental rambling here. It's something to do.