I was always the kid that followed my dad out to his workshop to “help” him fix things.
It was barely daybreak along the river when the dog and I stepped out the door. More dark than light, though somewhere beyond the low hill to the east, I knew the sun was climbing our way.
British writer and theologian C.S. Lewis said, “What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.” Put simply, reality is based, not on fact, but instead on our personal perception of what we see and hear. That said, it’s been my experience that not everyone has the same perception of reality.
Don’t panic! That’s rarely what you want to hear at those crazy moments when, odds are, panicking is exactly the thing you should be doing. The dictionary defines “panic” as a sudden, uncontrollable fear or anxiety, often causing wildly unthinking behavior. Reactions vary widely, from a little nervousness to a full-on panic attack, complete with hyperventilation, rapid pulse, excessive perspiration, and much more.
I don’t manage downtime very well, and I’ve never been too keen on vacations. But occasionally, my family convinces me to close my laptop for a few days and park myself in front of a campfire. We pitch a tent, make s’mores, and spend some time canoeing or kayaking down some lazy river. So, after months of work with little to no breaks, it was time to hit the campground again.
When I restarted this series after a 5-year hiatus, I decided to steer away from politics, religion, and other hot-button topics in favor of more personal subjects.
If you have followed my series for a while, you know that I dealt with a lot of health problems growing up. From birth, until I was about 21, I had around 200 different procedures and surgeries. Some were experiments, with unknown outcomes, and others were common procedures as some type of intermittent step from point A to point B. Some went perfectly, others did not. Something that I learned through all of that was a fierce sense of what I’m going to call determination.
The onset of fall means fair season here in Ohio, and my visit to our county fair this year was simultaneously familiar and foreign.
For the last 20 years, I have had the honor of leading a performing troupe of authentic Wild West arts practitioners in the American Western Arts Showcase during the Annie Oakley Festival in Greenville.
I have been a musician for most of my life. I started playing piano, by ear, when I was about 11. Granted, at first, it was, well, terrible. My left and right hands didn’t want to work together. Fortunately, I had help from my uncle Gary “Tuff” Sutton. He kept me from sounding like someone had dumped a couple of wild cats on the keys whenever I started to play. Eventually, I got better. So much so that once upon a time, my music led me to a decision that could have changed my life forever.