The human being is most definitely a creature of habit. You may be sitting there and thinking Naa  not me. But hold the phone a minute and think. Do you always put your right sock on first?  When putting pants on, is that right leg always the first to slip down into that pant leg?  When you get out of bed, is the right or left foot always touching the floor first?  You are a creature of habit. In that respect, I am close to normal. Well, I figured this one day, I should take the chance and do things different, just to be different. I usually sit there with fresh coffee, my computer and check the daily news. The weather is first, then the mail, and then the news. The decision was made that today would start totally different. No computer, no coffee, just a small glass of juice and then absolutely quiet. Just sit here a moment or two and watch the world outside my windows. Sort of like absorbing the peace of nature. While I was sitting there, I took the time to sand the bottom of my feet. Because I enjoy going barefoot, I get callouses on the balls of my feet. They need to be sanded down every once in a while. I decide to get my battery operated sander and smooth them out a bit. But, lets just enjoy the nature sounds first. Now for me to just sit and do nothing is absolutely out of the norm. Even as a youngster, being absolutely still, not a muscle moving was, an accomplishment. That was not how I was created. It was either the tongue wagging or the feet on the move. Nothing in this world came to me, so I went on many explorations. Always searching for that elusive creature I hadn’t seen yet. Well, today was to be different. The goal was to sit at least sit 59 seconds and watch, just watch. Any more than that, I would probably fall asleep.  Well, I did 58 seconds for sure. Then it was time to do something. So I began to sand the balls of my feet. That is when it happened. The outside silence had been broken by an bone chilling screech. Now, I had heard that screech when we lived on the farm. That time the noise came from my mother. When she lets out a screech like that and my name followed, I reacted with the speed of wild animal. I am not sure if it was the volume of the screech or the way my full name came right after that. Each name was greatly enunciated. Fear filled me for sure. I am not sure if it was the horror of “Now what did I do, or what did I Not do”.  But my presence was immediately requested, or shall we say demanded. Relief replaced fear when I discovered what the problem was. I have to stop here a moment and explain. I enjoyed the wild animals. Every creature large or small had a place in our lives. So I enjoyed watching them in their daily tasks. But, I guess there are some folks that just do not like some creatures just because of what they are. Those little creatures such as spiders and snakes get a bad reputation. The spiders eat flies, and the snakes eat the spiders. Well snakes eat just about what they want and I tried not to harm them. Especially on the farm in Maine. I do have to say, some of them get to be longer than others. But mother just did not like it when that Milk Adder slithered across the top of her bare feet. Somehow or other, this was my fault. But I was used to being at fault on no fault situations. I will admit I knew this was the snake’s domain, but I also knew I weighed more than it did. So, there was no fear on my account. Mother, had quite a different attitude about spiders and snakes. I was again instructed to take care of him. And so I did, but not in the way Dad took care of the pigs. I suppose, I could have and put them on the table for supper, but an ounce of wisdom suggested I not do that. But, the thought was there.  Well, anyway, I went to investigate the morning screech. I had an idea of what it might be and I have to tell you, that is the only animal I will not go near. If you folks ever heard a Fisher screech, you will understand. They are creatures with a mean temper. They are worse than I ever thought of being. They do not have one ounce of fear in them. They are also very territorial. So, I was relieved when I did not see any creatures larger than the pesky groundhog.

Well that ended for sure my trying to start my day on a peaceful quiet note. I then slid into my normal habitual routine. Computer is on, tea water is on and my feet are now dressed. This got me to thinking about other folks and their habits.  I took a small step down memory lane and thought of one fella in the past that I knew. This fella just could not tell things right. I learned first hand how things he said changed. Each time the story was different. You see, I had sold him some equipment. I knew the price he paid, but each time I heard him tell others, that number changed. Some times, it was higher and other times lower. He told the story to justify what he wanted the listener to believe. This always puzzled me. Why would people want to manipulate what others thought? It always seemed so simple to me to do the black and white. Tell it straight, tell right and tell it the same every time. There was no need to remember how I told it the last time. But then, that is me and there are times folks consider me strange.

Well, the sun is awake early and it is that time of year to begin getting things ready for winter again. We have the next five months to get prepared for the next seven months of cold. This just leads me to question my sanity for living in the mountains. But then, where can someone be as crazy as I am and live in peace.    Ken White Mountainman COB

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