Opinion

Top Three Reasons I Never Became a Singer

I do not own this image, I am respectfully using it in my blog.

I do not own this image, I am respectfully using it in my blog.

I cannot remember a time when I did not want to be a singer.  Music was my friend, my mentor, my inspiration and still is  today.  Back in the day, you did not have music videos or YouTube.  You only had records and you imagined what the singers were like from the album cover and liner notes.  Then came videos and everything changed.  Now you could see the singers you listened to.

Videos are not as important today as they once were, musically speaking, but they still have their place.  Once in a while I get in a mood and I just go to YouTube and watch either videos or live performances of older music.  I happened to do that last night after hearing “Tell Me Something Good” by Rufus playing overhead at the local Sheetz.  I decided to watch Chaka Chan, Whitney Houston and Etta James videos. Oh to be able to sing like that, I would give anything, alas that is definitely not my talent.  I cannot hold a note, am tone-deaf and I cannot even read music.  I am relegated to being a lover of music, not a participant.

Then I got to thinking about why I was not blessed with that particular talent  and these reasons came to mind:

  1. Ego:  If I could sing like young Whitney Houston, my head would be so swelled that no one else could fit in the room I was in.  I would be like “Bitch, do you know who I am?  I am Lois F*ing Hewitt and I sing!”  I would be that way at parties, at the grocery store, the dry cleaners, the gas station…everywhere.  God knew I could never contain myself if I had talent like that, so He made sure I had no talent for that whatsoever.
  2. Facade:  Watching an older video of a VH1 Diva presentation with Whitney and a few others, I realized that the secondary job of a singer is to never show the real you on stage.  I watched as Whitney Houston sang her heart out, smiled and danced all the time knowing, because I knew the future, she was having a miserable time in her personal life.  I can only imagine how hard it must be to have so much negativity in your personal life but be the ultimate performer on stage.  People did not pay to see her sulk around on stage, they expected to see her vibrancy and energy.  That had to be exhausting.  What a horrible price to pay for fame!
  3. Money:  Although I would like a little more money than I have right now, having too much does not seem to be healthy either.  There are some people with money who seem to be able to control it, but I have to assume (since it has never been a problem for me) that having too much money can create unhealthy lifestyles.  I know if I sold millions of records and had lots of money from it, I would be so obsessive.  There would be no living with me.

My night watching YouTube was extremely enlightening.  Just because I would have wanted a specific gift and spent years cursing the fact that it was not my gift to have, does not mean it would have been good for me.  Sometimes those things we want more than anything are the very things that could ruin us.  My mind goes to Amy Winehouse, Elvis and so many countless others who were given a specific talent but it was that talent that helped to destroy them either directly or indirectly.

So for today, I will ponder the things I want in life,the things I wish for, the dreams I have and look at them with open eyes.  Maybe the things I feel I have to have may not be good for me.  Or maybe they will come at a later time when I am ready for them.  I do not know what the future will bring, except I highly doubt my singing voice will ever develop, but whatever comes my way I have to look at it as my blessing and do all that I can to have it make me a better person, not a bitter person.

Great Food Adventure – Recap

I did not create this hamburger image but I am respectfully using it for my post.  Looks really good by the way!Part of my Epic Journey involved trying to find the best hamburger and/or diner.  I grew up on hamburgers and I love them to this day.  Unfortunately, just before the trip started I got very anemic.  I was very sick and did not have a lot of time to get better.  After some research on the Internet, I decided to try to go gluten free.  My health turned around dramatically.  So that changed my quest slightly.  Now I was looking for the best burger without a bun.

I have to admit, this was NOT the hardest part of the trip.  I enjoyed this very much.  Since I only ate one meal out, I tried to make it count.  Here are my findings, I hope you find them delicious 🙂

Dundee, IL – Bootleggers Restaurant.  I had just driven through Chicago, gotten lost twice and almost ran out of gas in bumper to bumper traffic.  I was STRESSED.  I pulled off the freeway and went to the first place I saw.  Very cool restaurant decorated from the Rat Pack Era with music to go with it.  Great service from Kassie and a really great burger!!

O’Neil, NE – Westside Restaurant.  Walking into this restaurant was like being home.  Good down home cooking, utilitarian decor, big salad bar and a very good hamburger with onions and brown gravy.

Downtown Buffalo, Wyoming.  It is an adorable town!!

Downtown Buffalo, Wyoming. It is an adorable town!!

Buffalo, WY – The Busy Bee Soda Fountain and Bakery.  As I stated in a previous post, I had to eat here because one of my favorite book and television characters, Walt Longmire, always eats at this restaurant.  I had breakfast there and it was delicious.  My server, Kia, was awesome and very lively at 7 am in the morning (I was still on Cleveland time).  It was definitely a highlight of my trip!!

Buffalo, WY — Winchester Steak House.  Okay, I did not have a burger here but it was the day before my birthday and felt I deserved something special.  That is what I got.  I ordered the Filet Mignon and it was the ABSOLUTE best steak I have ever had in my life.  Everything here was amazing including the service.  I had called about 10 minutes before I got there to see if I needed reservations, the young lady I talked to said no, to just come in.  I was there in 10 minutes and my table was set and ready, my server was impeccable and the food was completely top notch.  If you are ever in Buffalo, Wyoming, you have to have dinner (they only serve dinner) at the Winchester Steak House.

Sutherlin, OR – Smitty’s Deli.  They specialized in all kinds of subs and you could even get them on gluten free bread!!  I was shocked and amazed!!  It was the best tuna sub I have ever had.  Oh, how I wish my memory was a little better!!

Newport, OR – Pig N’ Pancake.  Their specialty is pancakes, but I had a burger and was not disappointed.  The menu is actually extremely varied and the food was made fresh and was very good.  There were a lot of options for different types of hamburgers and toppings.  I really enjoyed sitting and watching the never-ending line of traffic in Newport go by the window.  It was relaxing after another harrowing day of driving.

Seal Rock, OR – Seal Rock Espresso & Bakery.  Granted this was just a stop for coffee, but it was really good coffee and the owners (Edward and Jeni) were awesome. All over the west, there are these small stand alone, drive up coffee shops and I just had to try one.  I am so glad I stopped as I got the morning jolt I needed for a long day of driving and I had some fun talking with the owners.  Good times!

Too much fun on Rt. 66!

Too much fun on Rt. 66!

Seligman, AZ – Westside Lilo’s.  I actually had breakfast there.  Breakfast is my least favorite meal, so I never really expect too much but I was wrong.  Situated on Route 66, Lilo’s is a tribute to the route and a really fun place to stop.  The breakfast was one of the best I have ever had and the atmosphere was truly enjoyable.

Clinton, OK – Picante Grill.  The restaurant itself did not look like much. The inside was like so many Mexican restaurant, very colorful and the menu was varied.  I was not overly impressed until the food came. This was the best Mexican food I have had in a very long time.  You could tell it was homemade and cooked with love.  Lesson learned:  Never judge a book by its cover (or you may miss a great meal).

Love me a retro diner!!

Love me a retro diner!!

Checotah, OK – Boom-a-rang Diner.  Absolutely one of the best burgers I have ever had (and I have hardly ever had a bad one).  There were a lot of different topping choices to choose from, the burger was high quality, the fries were awesome and the iced tea was really good. The diner was decorated in diner style which added to the ambiance.  It was a very fun stop!!

Whittier, NC – Waffle House.  What can I say about Waffle House, you always know what you are getting.  This time was different as it was the company that made this meal so good.  Visiting with a friend from my Kinetico days, Jan, was the highlight of the day and the great conversation made the food taste even better!

Beckley, WV – Texas Steakhouse.  After a few days of regular (not bad) dining experiences (Denny’s, Bob Evans, etc.) and since it would be the last day of this trip, I opted for another steak.  The Filet Mignon was very good here and Jamie, my server, was top of the line.  I really enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere as I contemplated the ending of Phase 1 of my trip.

Overall, I have to say that my one meal a day was always well worth the stop.  I enjoyed every meal (probably because I was so hungry-lol).  I enjoyed great servers and was able to share my story and hear theirs many times.  Great connections were made and I am very blessed to have had the opportunity to have great food and great company.

Day 13 – Clinton, Oklahoma to North Little Rock, Arkansas

An Epic Journey

We started the day off by stopping at the Route 66 Museum in Clinton, Oklahoma.  I figured it would be a tourist trap that was designed to only suck your money away.  I was wrong.  It was an adorable, yet small, museum dedicated to preserving the history of Route 66.  The displays included quite a few authentic photographs, props and even cars of the time.  I am really glad we stopped as it was informative and fun.

I love the history of Route 66!!  It is true Americana! I love the history of Route 66!! It is true Americana!

While driving in the west, one cannot help but notice all the casinos along the way.  I totally understand that those casinos bring tourist dollars into the community, provide decent wages to local people and they allow people to better themselves.  I get it, I really do.  But when you look around and you see big, bright and shiny casinos surrounded by…

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Day 14 – North Little Rock, Arkansas to Whittier, North Carolina

Today was yet another mixed bag of emotions.  I started the day fairly optimistic, ran it down hill with a mixture of homesickness and general sadness, then finished strong with lots of laughter and great conversation.

My gosh, today I even got sick of my whining.  I felt like Goldilocks: it’s too hot, I’m hungry, why can’t I sleep….oh my gosh, what is wrong with me?  I have always been a little whiny at times but this trip has really brought out my inner whiner.  What is the deal with being homesick? I started this trip with the intent of not really going back “there.”  Now all I want is to go back “there.”  I am one messed up chick.

I guess on the road you miss the normalcy of life, even if those normal activities were what was driving you crazy.  On the road everything is new and not necessarily improved.  You miss the little comforts of home, like knowing where things are, not like having to constantly ask yourself what Walmart bag did you put something in and is it in the backseat, glove box or in the back of the car.  Home drives me crazy, but for now I need that place so I can regroup and rethink the next portion of the trip.

It is hard to rationalize all that has gone one in the last two weeks.  I have to remember that I came out of my shell to learn about myself.  Now originally I thought I was going to find out some really cool stuff, but as it turns out, the stuff is not all that cool.  It is authentic and it is real so that has to count for something.

So today we drove and we drove and we drove.  It was a long day of driving and I had no idea what the end point of the day was as it was a surprise.  We did finally start driving north which thrilled me, then we started driving south which did not thrill me.  Home is north, why were we not driving north?

We drove through Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  Have you ever been?  Wow, I was blown away by all the activity there including Dollywood (which I did not even realize was still open).  Tourists were everywhere and we rolled through town near dusk and the activity was still going strong.  Who knew?  Then we started to drive through the Great Smoky Mountains.  NO I CRIED…you promised no more mountains!!  More 6% grades, more hair pin curves, more scary sheer drops and somebody blowing their horn at me in a tunnel,no less.  I could not stop crying, first we were not heading north and there were more mountains to contend with.

Mike had a really great surprise for me.  He had contacted a friend from Kinetico, Jan Kuszynski, and they had arranged to meet since we were fairly close on our way home.  I was thrilled to see Jan and I know Mike needed some real adults to talk with.

Jan has been posting the most gorgeous photographs of the Great Smoky Mountains and her words are always inspirational and encouraging. The thought of seeing her again filled my heart.  She lives with a lovely family, Ernie and Amy Francis and their three wonderful sons, who never met us but welcomed us into their home like we were family.  I was overwhelmed.

We got here late, but we were able to talk for a while.  We talked and laughed and talked some more and laughed even more.  When someone tells you that laughter is the best medicine, you can believe it.  All my sadness washed away and tears of joy replaced the tears of frustration and fear.

I have said this many times in my blog posts, the only really important things in life is not stuff but people and the connections you make with them.  I have had so many people extend their hands to me, to help me back on my feet, to give me strength in my weakness and to show me love when I am terribly unlovable. Every person I have met and will continue to meet with leave their handprint on my soul and I will become that better person I dream of, not because of anything I have done but because of them.

So for tonight I will quit my whining and look at the blessings in my life, for which there are many.  Tomorrow is another day and if we do not head north at some time the whining my commence again, but I hope not!!

I have pictures and information about another great burger I found for the next time.  Thank you for listening!

Day 13 – Clinton, Oklahoma to North Little Rock, Arkansas

We started the day off by stopping at the Route 66 Museum in Clinton, Oklahoma.  I figured it would be a tourist trap that was designed to only suck your money away.  I was wrong.  It was an adorable, yet small, museum dedicated to preserving the history of Route 66.  The displays included quite a few authentic photographs, props and even cars of the time.  I am really glad we stopped as it was informative and fun.

I love the history of Route 66!!  It is true Americana!

I love the history of Route 66!! It is true Americana!

While driving in the west, one cannot help but notice all the casinos along the way.  I totally understand that those casinos bring tourist dollars into the community, provide decent wages to local people and they allow people to better themselves.  I get it, I really do.  But when you look around and you see big, bright and shiny casinos surrounded by broken down cars, trailers in desperate need of repair and other obvious signs of economic blight, it becomes hard not to look at the casino as, at least, a partial reason for the problems.

We stopped in one, since I have only been in a casino once in Niagara Falls. I decided to try my luck at the penny slots.  I took a seat by a slot machine that showed brightly colored cupcakes (how bad could it be…they were cupcakes and party hats) and tried my luck. I was up to $40 from my original $20 and feeling pretty good, when Lady Luck decided to leave the room.  In no time, all the money was gone and I was left with nothing.  As I looked around the room, I saw the same look I had on many of the faces there and I hoped they had not come here looking to make enough money to pay the rent or buy groceries.  It may happen for a few, but for the majority winning is not a option.

I have been so down that I have resorted to playing the Lottery in hopes of getting some relieve.  I understand the concept, but never once have I won.  You only end up losing what little you had to begin with.  Everyone knows that the casinos are in business to make money, but human nature, no matter how down and out, still has that one glimmer of hope that says today will be the day.  It just hardly ever is that day.  I am not sure what point I wanted to make other than I saw the sadness and hope that I can help somehow, someday.  I am not anti-casino, in fact for the most part I never give them a thought, but the “lure of easy money has a very strong appeal.” (words by Glenn Frey)

I do not know how I keep getting off on these negative notes.  I do not mean to, but you cannot close your eyes to the lives around you.  This trip is about self-awareness and awareness in general, so I guess it is only right that these things stand out to me.  It is making me realize that the world is truly much bigger than what I see in my everyday life and that many people are hurting (some of it is self-induced, I get that too).

(Removing myself from the soapbox again.) On a lighter note, I have learned a few lessons so far from this trip and I thought I would share them:

  1. I have gone two weeks without any television and I have not died!  I cannot believe how freeing it is not to be hooked to the television.  I may be a little out of touch with news and such, but it feels good to have cut that cord a bit.
  2. I can shower in a public shower as long as there is a door.  Never in a million years would I have guessed that I could ever do that.  You get to a point and have no choice and you do what you have to do.
  3. No matter how much I try (and I have), I am just not an outdoorsy-kinda gal.  I can appreciate nature and its beauty from inside the air conditioned car.  I still rather sit inside with a good book and an iced tea.  I tried….I really did!
  4. Seems most Western drivers like to go really fast.  I am a slow poke driver who has to work at keeping up with the speed limits out here.  Cruise control, on the open road not in town, is my friend.
  5. Diner food is the absolutely best!  I love the atmosphere and the food.  We need more diners!!
  6. I can exist on one meal day (and a few snacks).  I was eating way too much and that is not necessarily a good thing.
  7. I can sleep in a tent.  Yes, I can.  I may not be particularly fond of the notion, but I can now do it and am even somewhat helpful in the putting up and taking down of it.  NEVER in a million years!
A cute picture of an old ice cream / soda fountain.

A cute picture of an old ice cream / soda fountain.

I know it is not a terribly noteworthy list, but I am getting there.  I am doing things I never dreamed I could do.  Thank you for listening.  I appreciate all of you out “there.”

Day 12 – Grants, New Mexico to Clinton, Oklahoma

I did not have Wi-Fi yesterday so I could not post, sorry about that!! So today I will do a couple of posts.  First of all, yesterday we had an unremarkable day — which is good when the temps are over 100 and you worry about the car — traveling out of New Mexico, through a small bit of Texas and into Oklahoma.  We traveled on Rt. 40 which runs close to the old Route 66.

There were a lot of remnants of Route 66.  Many ghost towns, closed businesses, cars and trucks just parked and rusting and a very sad view of a life that was once vibrant and new.  Seems to me, and I could be way off base here, that my parents generation started off with roads like Rt. 66 (obviously after the dust bowl which is what facilitated the Mother Road) as a way to see the country in their new and shiny cars.  The heyday was amazing with post-war families driving out west to see the Pacific Ocean and all the other sights along the way.

Then the Interstate idea hit and now you could not only get out west but you could do it faster.  It seems to me that was the demise of important roads like Route 66.  I remember a couple of trips with my folks and it was always on interstate highways, never on “back roads.”

But our generation seems to be looking back to those simpler times when you could ride the Route and have a great dinner at a diner, and reserve a room at a motel (with conditioned air and color TV!).  You could see all matter of weird and interesting sights as you drove.

The resurgence of the Route is hopeful, in fact, many businesses never left they just seemed to wait it out. I am so happy to see that people are interested in the Route again. Interstate highways have their place, but Routes like 66 and 20 have American history attached to them.  People drove those roads to find better lives and we need to preserve that.  It is a piece of us and we cannot afford to just throw it away.  (Sorry, I am off my soapbox).

Last night, after a long day of driving, we got to our KOA cabin and I melted down.  It is amazing how lack of quality sleep and overwhelming heat can cloud your mind.  I just sat on the edge of the bed and cried.  Not for any particular reason, just for all of it.  But I broke out my Kindle and I read a short story from “Christmas in Absaroka” by Craig Johnson.  Between Craig and Mike, I calmed down and forgot about the scorpions and rattlesnakes (did I mention they live where in the same state as I was sleeping!).

I am not a bug person, I totally understand their purpose in life other than to bite me.  I understand food chains and such, but I am not a fan.  There are so many bugs alive and dead in the southern part of the states — many more than I am used to.  But I have decided to embrace my inner bug lover and get over myself.  I still slept partially awake looking for scorpions, but luckily they stayed away.

I do have a bug repellent tip:  Repel Lemon and Eucalyptus (DEET Free) is amazing.  It keeps bugs way away.  Most people too.  DO NOT BREATHE IT IN!!  It is harsh and strong, but it works.  You get used to the smell after a few days and then you can tolerate it better.  Good grief though, it is powerful.

I am going to shower since it has been a few days in 100 degree heat, then do some laundry (again it has been a few days) and then I will come back and tell you about today.  I also have lots of pictures, I just have to go through them.  Hope you are enjoying the posts.  More fun to come!!

Rattlesnakes and scorpions live here...oh my!!

Rattlesnakes and scorpions live here…oh my!!

Day 5 – Buffalo, Wyoming — Again

Have you ever gone somewhere in your life and when you got there you just knew it was right?  That is exactly how I felt when I rolled into Buffalo, Wyoming a few days ago.  I mostly came here because I am a huge Longmire fan and I just had to have lunch at the Busy Bee Cafe (one of Walt Longmire’s favorite places to eat in the books and the show).

This is the official Busy Bee Cafe Logo.  I do not own its rights but use it respectfully in my blog.

This is the official Busy Bee Cafe Logo. I do not own its rights but use it respectfully in my blog.

I did not have lunch, but I had breakfast and the server, Kia, was perfect!  The food was great, the atmosphere welcoming and the weather was beautiful.  Before the Busy Bee opened, I met a gentleman who transplanted to Buffalo and he told me history of the town and why he loved it here.  He stopped to talk with me on his way to Bible Study at 6:30 am.  I was impressed.

The people at the KOA Buffalo (as I mentioned in a previous post) were absolutely wonderful to me and I felt as safe here as I did anywhere.  The campground was fun, clean and accessible.  Road Lesson:  A clean, hot shower is worth more than gold!!

I kinda got an inclination that maybe I had found a “home”, a place where I could fit it.  Small town living with lots of caring individuals and the opportunity to become an active member of the community through volunteering.

I spent the day in Buffalo today trying to find a place to live and a job.  If it was meant to be, it would happen.  In the process, I met a lovely artist woman at the Chamber of Commerce outpost, a group of women involved in local businesses and the sweetest real estate agent who so very hard to help.  The day was full of meeting and greeting.  Unfortunately, it seems that it was not meant to be as nothing quite worked out.

What was I thinking….trying to do this on the spur of the moment without any hint or preview.  I just fell in love with the history, the town and the people.  I do not want to leave, but I cannot afford to stay.  Maybe I can come back.

As I read my posts I realize that I sound very negative.  I honestly am not that negative of a person.  So during my downtime today I got real introspective.  I realized that I, much to my dismay, I am a romantic by heart.  I romanticized this trip like the trips of Jack Kerouac, Hunter S. Thompson and Robert M. Pirisig.  As Hunter would say, this trip was to be my “high water mark.”  I was expecting everything to change because of it.  Then my true self, the realist, stepped in and kicked me square in the pants and demands to know what I was thinking.

Because of those unrealistic expectations I am experiencing disappointment. When I was younger I was full of wonder and awe.  Although a bit jaded, I still had that feeling that life was going to end up like some sort of sappy Disney movie.  Then, I guess, you have to grow up and become responsible and pay your bills and be contributing members of society.  That is all fine and good, but the heavy weight of responsibilities moves wonder somewhere else, somewhere not easily accessed.

So I realized today that I am not negative so much as I am too much of a realist.  I no longer want to be a realist.  I want to have the wonder back, I want the awe back but I think I have to do it in a way that is not quite so Pie-in-The-Sky.  Just like the perfect chocolate chip cookie dough, you need the right amounts of each ingredient to make the perfect cookie; too much of one thing or too little of another will ruin the entire batch.

I am hoping I can change my perspective to reflect the perfect mix of romantic and realist.  You actually need both to keep from messing the situation up too badly.  Sorry it took my almost a week to figure this out, but maybe this knowledge will bring about the change I am looking for.

Thank you for listening….Buffalo, I still love you..I hope to return!!

Off Topic…A Busy News Week

This is not my photograph, I am respectfully borrowing it for my post.

This is not my photograph, I am respectfully borrowing it for my post.

I try not to write about politics or religion because I am not that qualified in the subjects that I can speak intelligently. Also, I realize that my opinion is not the opinion of everyone and we have enough people who spout their opinions freely. But these last few weeks have me wanting to voice my opinion, this one time.

I am outraged about the hateful debate about the Confederate Flag. I abhor that this country allowed slavery; The Land of the Free should never have allowed that to happen. I believe most Americans feel the same way. I am truly sorry it happened, but is it not time to start looking at what is happening today? It is estimated in the United States alone there are up to 17,500 (number is probably higher) people sold into human trafficking a year. These horrific people sell children, women and men into what can only be considered slavery. The victims are forced to work inhumane hours as indentured servants or they are sold into a life so horrible that the average sex slave (for lack of a better word) is only expected to live for two years before they are completely used up or dead. Is that not more important than yelling the “F” word to each other about a flag?

Gay marriage was in the news a lot lately. With this particular debate always comes the debate of Christian versus everyone else. I am a Christian and I am proud of it. With that said, I know many more people who are not Christian than who are. We have agreed to disagree. They know where I stand and I know where they stand. In my small circle of friends, we work to try to live together in harmony and mutual respect.

We do live in a country that was founded on religious freedoms, so why are those freedoms being taken away daily. I believe that, and this assumes no one gets hurt, killed or maimed, you should be allowed to live religiously.   Wearing a bomb around your waist and walking into a mall should NEVER be a sign of religious freedom. I think we all agree on that. But if you follow the laws that dictate human decency and respect, you should be able to freely live out your religious beliefs. You should be able to do that without fear of some random person shooting up a church.

As for the people who do not have any particular religious affiliation, I understand that also. There was a time in my life when I was more like that. I understand and respect their choice, now they need to do the same for me. Taking away every single symbol and sign of Christianity does not seem respectful in any way. I cannot believe that the symbol of the Ten Commandments makes non-Christian people so uncomfortable that they require them to be removed from every public building. If the symbol makes you uncomfortable, simply walk past it. Why can’t we live with tolerance and respect?

On Facebook today, I saw a post of a dog defecating on a picture of the President of the United States of America. I do not happen to personally think our current President is doing right by the people of this country, but I still believe we, as the American people, should show a more respect than that. He is our leader and was voted in by the people of this country, not to mention he is still a human being.

With that being said, all the political fighting back and forth between them and us is not helping the American economy. That should be the focus of everyone in this country. More and more layoffs are being planned, small businesses are closing daily and many workers are underemployed and over worked. How many of us are still reeling from the downturn in 2008? Is not the economy more important to be dealing with then spewing hate toward our President?

Please do not get me wrong, I do not have the answers. I barely understand the questions, but it seems to me the media would rather have the American people look at all the things that offend us, instead of bringing us all together to make this a better, safer and more workable place to live. I am not silly enough to think we can have Utopia, which will never happen. Nirvana is only the name of a 90s grunge band. But we do not have to fight each other on every single platform. We do not need to hate each other because of skin color, economic status, job type, gender, religious beliefs or any other unimportant symbol of “status.”

We need to come together to make a world where our children can safely play outside again without fear of being taken or hurt, a place where people can work and contribute to the economy, where everyone has a sense of dignity and purpose, where you are free to worship without fear of being killed, a place where children can go to school to learn and not be bullied or abused in any way and a place where you are free to express yourself, non-violently, without the constant fear of offending someone.

We are all in this together and no one gets out alive, so why do we have to make the journey from birth to death even harder than it has to be with so much diversion and animosity? We need Common Sense, Basic Human Manners and Mutual Respect to come back, and we need it now.

Thank you for reading my rant. I am not trying to ruffle anyone’s feathers, but we all need to stop talking for a moment and think before we speak. We all need to think outside of our own little world, myself included, and see the bigger picture. We can all make a change if we quit fighting one another and show love and respect.