Monday, March 12, 2012


After a restful weekend on the boat, I am back at the dock. Time to have a little breakfast before scrubbing decks and stowing the dinghy.

Amelia, my old girl's daughter, did great as a boat dog. It took more practice to get her in and out of the dinghy, but we managed. Giving her some treats helped, although she was keener on getting in the dinghy than getting back on the boat. "You want me to go up to that big boat? Can't I just stay in this little boat?".

Yesterday was the date of my father's death. I thought about him a lot during the day. He surely would have liked this boat, although he might have wondered at having to spend so much money on it and upkeep. He was a child of the depression and lived with economic deprivation in mind.

I haven't known deprivation, hunger, or joblessness. No one that I know is hungry, but there are plenty that I don't know who are struggling every day. The comfort with which I live sometimes makes me uneasy. Yet, I realize that I am so fortunate and am grateful for so much. Doing my part to help others through donations and past work at the homeless shelter seems so
small compared to the immensity of the problems. I guess there are times that I feel a little guilty for those things that I have. I just know that I am not stealing from others to better myself.

I don't know where I am going with this topic, other than to say that the deck is stacked against those who have so little. Through saving and ingenuity, my father's family held on to their land and businesses. They lived within their means and got by. I wonder if that is possible in the world that we live in today.

"We live in a system that espouses merit, equality, and a level playing field, but exalts those with wealth, power, and celebrity, however gained."--Derrick Bell


  1. The deck is stacked against anyone who ever does prison time. There is little forgiveness in our society for that, I know that first hand (well, second hand). That's why it becomes a revolving door for many. Our society actually is not very forgiving of ANY past mistakes.

    On the other hand you should be able to enjoy your life of abundance. I believe God wants us to experience all of life's pleasures. Just don't forget to thank him;)

  2. Syd, I just blogged about a similar topic. I feel kind of happy that your great mind and mine were on the same page today! lol

    Yes to what Lou said too.

    We live in a weird world these days.

  3. I think being grateful for the blessings we have makes so much difference in our characters. :)

  4. This is a great post,Syd.
    And something I have learned
    from history is that we really
    do not own anything.It could all
    be lost in a heartbeat.We really
    don't know.But humans have indeed
    survived with very little but hope.
    And at the end of the day,if we can
    each be grateful for what we have
    and remember to give back how we can,then the hope continues to survive as well.Here's to your Dad and others who helped remind us of what we do have,indeed.
    Thank you for sharing,Syd.

  5. As I say- we so strongly believe that anyone can lift themselves up by their bootstraps in this country but there are, in fact, people who have no bootstraps at all.

  6. I have never felt real deprivation either, I'm grateful for all that I have. Sometimes I need reminding, thank you.

  7. I don't think you should feel guilty at all. Enjoy it.

    I have had everything and lost everything. The difference between me and most is I knew at the time I was lucky. I felt it. I enjoyed it. I gave back, and it gave back to me.

    I won't tell you how the story ended lol.

    My point is enjoy life.

  8. I sometimes feel deprived, but then I consider that some people have no food, shelter, clothing, or security in this world. I am very fortunate.

  9. i def feel you here...the guilt...i get that at times when i see those that dont have...and the giving helps...

    was at a mtg tonight witht he boy that OD'd in my was a beautiful thing...

  10. Out here, anyone who is poor but not hungry is not poor at all.

    A Californian friend of mine says that Americans are so uncomfortable with feelings of guilt that they prefer paranoia. I suppose each of us has to decide if we cross the street and walk on by ignoring the suffering, or if we get involved and sacrifice some of our comfort and privilege, learn to share and work for change. The irony of the parable of the Good Samaritan keeps me on my toes --

    You have written some moving tributes to your father and I feel I know him a little.

  11. I think of the unforgiving nature of man, and realize in reflection of so many things, God has it all. Prison and active service both pose challenges that are similar in nature if you come out and have to live in the "real world" (is there such thing) Seeing veterans come back after an experience of true deprivation, or a humbled ex-con... it's all in the willingness and want. Do you want to be a part of society, or do you want to get something from society?

    I've seen many miracles and many successes in the ex-criminals of society and many miracles in the ex-heroes too.

  12. There are a lot of good things here to think about today. The only deprivation I experience is what I don't allow myself to enjoy. I have to work at giving up the mindset that I don't deserve it. Thank you for your post.

  13. at some point in sobriety, probably about the time I went to my first "jail meeting" it occurred to me that "I Owe." I owe society for my past (and present) indiscretions. I am blessed and I am asked to share those blessings with others. I see God's will for me to be of help wherever possible. Sometimes I allow that willingness to help get out of control and damage my role as "breadwinner" and sane person, lol. But I just believe I need to give to those around me, even when it's a giant pain in my self-centered butt lol.

    Thanks for your post Syd, it got me thinking, as usual!

  14. A good post as a reminder to me to be thankful for the people in my life. Things were important to my family growing up because we didn't have a lot. Also learning to live within our means... that's a tough one and a daily struggle.


Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.