We went blueberry picking over the weekend, shortly before dusk. Why stand in the blazing sun, sweating and exhausted, when you can go just before the sun sets. You avoid the crowds, plus, if you went where we did, you get the chance to experience a spectacular sunset.
This particular place doesn't spray, an absolute necessity for us. Why would anyone dump a bunch of inorganic chemicals and pesticides on berries, anyway?? (Let alone ANY item used for human consumption.) Picking these beautiful, lucious berries, enjoying the peaceful, cool, early evening surroundings, I thought about our fast-paced world, how I long to live on some land, off the grid, outside and away from anything city-like. Just as I thought that, someone in a souped-up vehicle sped past the property at lightening speed, interfering with an otherwise peaceful, serene setting. "Asshole," I thought, wishing the world contained more introspective, quieter types. There are a lot of ways to show off and release energy. Learn a martial arts or learn how to play an instrument. Then perform in public if you need to "show yourself" off. Leave the racing for the race track, away from the quiets of our society, or at least away from me, please.
After this momentary, invasive interruption, I was able to return to the noises of my environment. I suddenly had the desire to record the sounds of the berries making that "thump" noise as they dropped into the plastic bucket. I wanted to take home with me the sounds of the dogs barking a few rounds in the distance. I wanted to remember what it was like to actually HEAR our footsteps on the dirt ground, the crackling of the mulch. ... All of which reminded me to start taking my DVR with me and invest in a hand-held video camera.
As I sampled some of the berries, I could hear the old voices of childhood kicking in, voices of the parental kind. "Don't eat those! They haven't been washed!" "Don't eat too many. You don't want to be selfish!" I smiled as I continued my sampling.
After we had a good load of berries (which turned out to be close to 10 pounds), we went to the place in which to pay. Technically, the place was closed, but for those of us who are night owls and/or don't like the heat of the sun, they have a place set up to pay. An honor system, you might call it. I like that. However, tonight, the couple who own the place happened to be outside in their garage, enjoying the cool of the evening as well as a television marathon of M*A*S*H. I smiled as I told the husband it was my dad's favorite television series. He got up out of his recliner, smiling, saying it was his, too. He also shared he was in the Korean War.
"Hey, my dad was as well," I said.
"Which branch?" he asked.
"Army," I said. "What about you?"
"Marines," he said.
I suddenly wanted to hug him. I don't see my dad that much and sometimes, I long to have him living in town. Sometimes, next door. No matter how old you are, you never outgrow that need to have mom and dad around for love, reassurance, or simple comfort company. Or at least I haven't.
Instead, I thanked he and his wife, said we'd see them next year and wished them a good evening.
After hearing from Mr. Nina the number of childhood vaccinations that are now required, I decided to check out the CDC website. Good god. Before the age of 6, children are supposed to receive a total of 32 shots. Thirty-frigging two. I think I had maybe 6. 32??? What in the hell are we doing to our children? Do parents really just willingly go along with this insanity? Some neighbors of ours have an infant. I happened to be chatting with them on the day their little one had received a couple of shots. He had this glazed look in his eyes. I asked the mama if he was ok, as I had never seen him look like that before. She said he was just a little out of it because he had been vaccinated that day. I just took a deep breath and let the urge to inform and share pass. Instead, I stroked his little leg and wished the toxic ugliness disguised as a health benefit would not leave any lasting harm.
Vaccinations. They've done more studies on the effects and necessity of vaccines on dogs than they have on children (in fact, to this date, I do not believe there have been ANY studies done for children). Studies have shown that for dogs, multiple vaccinations are unnecessary and usually, toxic. And some of the vaccinations we inject our dogs with aren't needed. This cart-blanche, one-size fits all approach is nothing short of ridiculous. We stopped the annual vaccinate-at-vets-whim after our dog was 2. The only reason we do the regular rabies vaccinations now is because our vet, against our knowledge AND will, sent the information to the city, which means the city idiots now know we own a dog, something I believe is none of their business. Studies I've read show the rabies vaccine is only needed during puppyhood. After that, the vaccine has been shown to remain in the dog's system for life.
Personally, I believe the best prevention to disease is access to healthy food, plentiful, clean water/sanitation systems (studies have shown that once sanitation systems were introduced, infectious diseases declined sharply--and this was PRIOR to the use of vaccinations) and lots of love. You know what I'm talking about. Honest leaders who truly care for the people. Learning how to love ourselves by dealing with our issues instead of taking them out on others, most especially our children. Basic human rights embraced and provided for all (housing, food, clothing, education, clean air/water, respect). Live and let live mentality.
Love and respect. If those were the values by which our world were run on, we'd have no need to spray our food with toxic substances, nor would we have the need to stick our children (and pets for that matter) with needles full of toxic chemicals.