Saturday, October 24, 2009

Smell My Feet

Halloween approaches, the leaves fall to the ground. Children and adults prepare for the celebration. Costumes hanging on a hook, the routes planned ahead. Minds on the prize, the sweet treasures. Buckets and bags empty, they scream to be filled.

Tick tock goes the clock.
The days fall away with the children's anticipation.
The night draws near, tick tock.

Parents are excited from the mixed emotions. Some of us still dress up and others dread the front door. Since we now have a 2 year old daughter we go out in the dark, we go trick or treating. Plus, I have an excuse to dress up, more of a reason to enjoy Halloween.

I too feel the anxieties of the evening, the hassles of the hunt. Kids have a tendency to pop out like ghouls in front of my car. I understand that children hold a one track mind, CANDY!

The catch 22 of the modern times, we must protect the children. Therefore more parents are present, unlike the simple freedoms we had as kids.

Don't think I'm suggesting to let the candy zombies roam free! (Candy, we want candy!)

I see the difference from my youth and today's, we had much longer chains. My parents were there, but kept a safe distance. We had the opportunity to run house to house, without a parent trying to catch their breath.

Yes, there has always been a boogeyman. There has always been danger around a dark corner. Today we have programs that require monsters to register in American neighborhoods. Parents today watch the news, we know of Amber Alerts.

We as individuals know the world is full of wrongs. It holds some truly scary humans, but also contains responsible people. It is very simple, when we take the kids out this Halloween, do it right.

Teach them to be safe, to look both ways before crossing a road.
To protect themselves and others around them.
Don't leave behind friends or family in a mad rush to grab the chocolate gold. Explain the importance of not talking to strangers.
The simple truths about the people they might know.
To stay in a group and to tell a guardian when something is strange.

Watch the children enjoy the night with our loving eyes. Listen to the excitement in their voice, imagine the smiles behind the disguise.

We were all kids once, leaves crunched under our shoes, we too braved the unpredictable weather. We made our way to the porch with a light, the doors of fright and delight.

Our youth still screams "Trick or Treat" despite are age. Some of us still enjoy trying to decide what clever costume to where. Which prank to pull or person to scare.

Once we reach a certain age we realize that we can buy our own candy. As much as we want, it's just not the same though. I don't sit in my recliner and eat candy and later think what did I wear. (Unless I leave a stain)

Whatever version or reason behind "Hallows Eve" it has transformed into something. If you think about it, this holiday is about fun, there is no pressure of the perfect gift. It's not just about love or religion really.

It's to share candy, dress up, to simply have fun!

Being a parent, a grandparent, a guardian, it is a different joy. We get witness the beauty of innocence, the variety of costumes. The contentment of the children after there done.

"Oh this one is my favorite."
"I'll trade you this one for that one."
"No way! You got one of those!"

We get to say to the kids, "Don't eat any until I've checked it first!" :)

Even though most kids sneak a piece or two. I did! I knew my parents would take out some of my favorite candy. Because it didn't look right?

That's strange, because when I looked it over the packaging was fine?

That is why I've enjoyed MJ being very young. We love to take a few pictures of her, and help her eat her candy. :)

She was a monkey her first year, a puppy last year. This year we let her pick out her own costume. MJ picked one off a kids show she watches, I will give you a hint.

It's yellow and has a funny tail.

Don't worry I will post some pictures of her on Halloween night.

This time of the year holds memories from our past, it allows us to share them with others. To be a kid, to feel the season. It leads us to tomorrows happiness, so that they too become wonderful memories.

After reading this entry feel free to share any memory that comes to your mind.

I just have one wish for those who celebrate this holiday, please be safe and have fun!

Thanks for stopping by.

Loren Wesley Ackerman

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Part-time Country

Thursday was a wet day! It rained before I left for town this morning, I'd say it was before 11:00. As I type now it's still lightly raining. Of course I didn't bring a coat or my hat. After minutes I was drenched, still I walked determined. I pressed on, I went business to business filling out applications, only to notice several other people in line. I'm not discouraged, I remain optimistic.

I've known for quite some time that our country has declined. I've known what job possibilities existed for the common person. I expected lines, what I wasn't prepared to see that I was the oldest one. Everyone was in their twenties and I just turned 32 years old this month.

I tell myself that thy will hire experience over youth. That they will smell desperation over the strong scent of spanish fly colognes. Who would you hire a married man in their thirties, a person with a toddler, or a unpredictable kid?

I've got my fingers crossed in my hunt for a descent job. It is slim out there, mostly part-time employment. I even called my previous Temporary Agency to get a feel of the place. After all it has only been 5 years since I dazzled them.

I started as temp some years back, then got kept over 77 other people on the job. I took every posted job on the company board. Shortly after I was hired on full-time, they liked my drive. They loved my work abilities, I started me on an assembly line. Within a couple months I was a tester-inspector, working on several computers at once.

I had no computer experience, but I was multitasking with several. To make this long story short, there was a shutdown at the plant. So, I wanted to work, they asked me if I would. I said yes! They offered me 2 positions, one being lawn maintenance, the other was cleaning. I decided on cleaning the place for a couple weeks, they loved it.

When the bosses returned, they asked me if I wanted to co to school for electronics or they would help me start my own cleaning business. I thought about it for a couple days, then I gave them my answer. I told them I've always desired to have my own business. I didn't care if it was cleaning, a business meant my wife and I could work together for real money.

The next year the plant closed due to millions lost. They wanted cheaper labor in Mexico, so they left Springfield. My wife and I were the last two people in the plant when we left.

I had my own small company, we felt proud of our accomplishments.

Life's what it is sometimes!

Currently we live in the present, the past is the past. The other day I decided to call the agency, to seek employment. I hoped that I was still in the computer system, I hoped that they would remember me.

The lady told me there was only part-time work to pursue. I mentioned my achievement of my proud past. She laughed, then spoke in a rude tone saying "People change!"
I tried to speak, but she said "I see your work record in front of me. It doesn't mean a thing to me.We go off your last 6 months of work. Illinois is at a fourteen percent unemployment rate and good luck."

I decided to keep my cool, even after she denied me respect. You see for the over last year I have been raising our daughter, while my wife worked construction. Her hours were 12 hours or more, six days a week. She made decent money, but now it's slowed down. Now it's my turn to work, to show them how much I loved them. To provide for them, to give Lisa back some of the time she lost with MJ.

I've discovered that people who make good decisions for a family can also be penalized. This kind of logic baffles me, how can loving parents be disrespected?

No worries! I still have the compassionate State Unemployment office to assist me for work! :)

I have respect for my fellow human beings, I recognize our struggles. For a couple decades now I've tried to put myself in others shoes. I have recognized the emotions as someone scanned my merchandise. When they preformed their tasks, I noticed. Then I remained courteous, for I've been there.

I noticed when I worked as a janitor several times, how society treats a human being.

What the world fails to recognize, it that life is similar to a Pogo stick. It goes up and down, it requires balance. We need to hold on with both hands, so we can stay on longer. Yes we will fall eventually and must get back up. That is all part of the living joys we endure.

I don't wish invoke pity by my words in this entry. Trust me when I say I know others feel this way, I know that many people have it worse. I've been a witness to America's tragedy for many years now. I've tumbled countless times in my short life, but find it hard to except the truths of my life.

I will try to understand how society allows powerful individuals to kick us down in every way they can. How big business manipulates our benefits by only offering Part-time work. How they encourage people to betray others to keep bread on the table.

It is very simple GREED! They know that we have families, that we need our measly paychecks to barely survive. History repeats itself, many times over. The Great depression lives on, instead of fruit, it is fast food. It is toilets, it is unsafe Chinese made products.

How can the country be in such a mess, but countless restaurant jobs exist? How can so many people afford to eat out, plus a tip. Consider the gas and time involved, it is a luxury to do so. It would be less expensive and less of a hassle to eat at home. I believe if people eat out more than a few times a week, it is due to laziness. What do you think?

I can remember when you could actually talk to an owner of a company, when they would be willing to train a new hire. In my youth I could get a job before I finished the application. It was time when face to face meant something, a handshake meant something.

No, I'm not disillusioned, the world has always had liars and cheats. But, there was a time when hard work paid off. A time when people weren't just a number, like it has been for many years. Why do you think Temp Agency's came about? It was to pay Americans less money to do the same work as full-time employees. Then after a certain amount of time they could let you go, and bring in a new batch of suckers.

In the past we have heard that unemployment has went down, but that does not include people who have lost it. Struggling to provide for the family when it's gone. Forcing people to take what they can get, even if educated. Then there are people like me who have neglected to receive further education. People like me who have been stuck with a resume that consist of "demeaning jobs"

For those of us who have no choice, there are jobs that we will most likely be looked over. Jobs that we are too qualified for, or lack the proper education. Hey, there is the food industries, factories, Hotels, and gas stations.

Don't get me wrong I've seemingly lucked out in the past. I remain very optimistic for my family that I will find my place. I continue to keep hope for society, that one day very soon we will overcome the greed of our world. It will take time for our country to be a world leader in jobs creation, but the amount is unknown.

Until then we must work together! We must stay realistically positive, despite the fact that most of us are starting over. That we lack proper health care, but must stay strong.

Struggle knows no age, it touches the majority of this beautiful Earth.
Without it there would be no real lessons in life.

I thank you for stopping by my place. I wish you all a kind Friday and pleasant Weekend.

Loren Wesley Ackerman & Family

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

No Buts About It

Insomnia is a brutal thing, a bittersweet ailment. They say that we sleep most of our life away, but not an insomniac. We survive on the bare minimum, a couple hours in the morning, sometimes only minutes. The years pass, daily tasks lag. In my youth I was lightening, sleep was seldom. The years passed and I became thunder, functioning within a system.

They say we spend a bulk of our life on the toilet, thank goodness I don't have severe constipation. Insomnia can be like a mental constipation or like an emotional diarrhea. But, it all depends on the person.

The more the time ticks we as individuals can feel wiped out. Little pieces of our soul stick in the cross hairs of life. It is important not to let negative vibrations crack our spirits. We must go with flow, blow with the winds my friends. I guess this entries moral was even though life can stink, it can also be a gas,gas,gas!

Gotta go,

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Truth Tells No Lies

In the current state of this nation, we struggle. Pinching pennies and eating in unhealthy ways. Sacrificing on expenses, some that we should not have too. Like going to the dentist and fixing the second car. As if we had the money to do either. Like most of the country, we barely have a pot to piss in.

For example the other day I made a big batch of beans and weenies, thinking we could make a few meals out of it. On the second day I noticed thick black pepper in it, then I thought about it. I didn't put pepper in it!

It was the black coating from the pan, a pan I have only used a couple times. After my discovery I suggested my family not to eat it. Since I had ate half a bowl, I finished it anyway. It's now days later and I'm still alive.

We go nowhere, we mainly do things together at home. Both cars have over 250,000 miles on them and only one starts up without a jump. My wife is very worried about the state of things. Over the years we have struggled countless times. The difference was we had no child.

To be truthful I'm worried too, I just bought groceries with change. (Bread,Eggs, and more hot dogs.)

I know the world suffers, people in my state share the same menu. So, believe when I say I'm not complaining, only worried. Construction has been slow, causing her to draw unemployment. It will most likely run out before they sign an extension. Forcing me to take anything, any job this under qualified applicant can get.

We've done it before, we will do it again.

Our other worry is MJ, she requires patience, and understanding. We lack the proper finances to place in her good hands. We don't have many people who could watch her on a regular basis. We will most likely work opposite shifts, then take care of her.

Most families are forced to do so in this country. If only the elected officials could help the voters. The people who pay taxes and sacrifice so they can live without financial worries.

I bring these personal matters up because this is the story for millions of families. I don't wish for pity, or sage advice. If someone has advice, point your finger toward a decent job. One that will benefit my family, one I hope would not betray my soul. I've cleaned toilets, served food, I've even cut trees in my youth. (Storm damage for the city)

This from a man who has helped save the California Red Woods. :)

For the longest time now I can't tell the difference between a Monday and a Friday. They are the same for me, other than trash is taken out on Mondays.

I know in my heart that things will get better in time. We must remain optimistic in the madness of life. "Zorbo" once said that a man needs a little madness in life.

I believe that no matter our song we must dance to the beat. Might it be defeat or our own victories. Like fruit it can be sour, it can be sweet.

I think too much about the troubles of the world, when I must stay focused on my family. There will be a time for my soul to feel free,when I don't feel ashamed. One day I will forgive myself for the choices I've made. My hope is that my family will forgive me for our struggles. For the time I've dreamed of better, when I should have taken feces from evil people.

In the real world employers are greedy. They don't recognize right from wrong, they don't appreciate positive suggestions. They wish us to break our backs while they make the big bucks. "It's my way or the highway!"

I have met many wonderful people on the computer. People who have earned an education, a place in life. Doing jobs that they chose to do, gaining respect in their field. Benefiting in so many ways, educating by example.

I've met people who have a beautiful homes, pieces of land. People who help animals , a retired actor, other writers. Many people who have inspired me to keep writing, to keep on dreaming. I love everyone for that! I love to hear about traveling,family, books being read.

More importantly their thoughts and opinions.

When a person opens up they allow the whole world in. We can obtain a better understanding of our fellow man. We can love our brothers and sisters of this Earth.

We love by listening.
We love by understanding.
We love by sharing.

I simply speak with honesty.
I believe that truth can sometimes set you free.
I speak with admiration, appreciation, and with affection.
May all your lives be what you wish it to be!

Wes Ackerman

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Road Without Traffic

The Autumn rain falls outside the window, it gently drops. The trees whisper in the slight wind, almost dancing. They dance for the evening, rather the early morning. They softly shake their leaves before they tumble to the ground. I do not hear a car on the quiet road. No coyotes tonight, not even the friendly owl?

Now, our friend a Mourning Dove sings her beautiful songs to the distant train. I've known her since my early years, it has been since Junior High school. We have shared many mornings and many moons. Countless Seasons, she has been there for my soul. For this I thank her daily, after all I will soon be 32 years old.

Birdie has been around for many hardships and may blessings. When I switched from drawing to writing, she was there. When I've had to carry loved ones coffins, she has been there. When Lisa carried MJ, she cooed sweet songs to our fantastic fetus.

MJ greets her like family in the morning, she coos songs right along with her.

Birdie is a blessing to my family, she is a joy to know. Speaking without words, but reaches our hearts.

I write about what I know in my life. What I can feel and see. Right now I hear her singing to me.

My family is a blessing, they keep my spirit in a good place. Creating important adventures, taking me to places I've never been. Wonderful places in my heart, an important destination. My genuine happy place, a location I gladly call home.

Granted I stumble on my emotions, I get stuck in memories muck. There is an expression that suggest that we get our hands dirty or another about our feet getting wet. How about the heart or the mind, they too get dirty.

Our eyes can shine, they too are wet. A smile can raise our cheeks, as easy as sadness can cause leaks. Life provides growth! After all every garden needs rain to become fruitful.

What I'm trying to say is that a Happy place is not constant, we are human beings. We struggle internally with our conscience, then with Humankind. We sleep,eat,work, and play. Wake up, defecate, and simply be.

Life and death have no manuals, still many try to go by the book. I believe people are different, with similar traits. Similar tastes with common thinking. You notice I did not say common sense, for if this was true, the world would be our happy place.

I may seem like I'm blowing all over this web page, I'm merely trying to make a point. Trying to help those who feel like me sometimes.

When time catches up to me, or life seems bittersweet. I notice my surroundings, I listen to my own voice. This morning I heard the soft rain, I smelled the Autumn scents.

The smell of the rain, blew in with the gentle wind. I watched my family sleep peacefully to the sound of Birdies beak.

My mind was clear, it merged with nature. I rolled around in the leaves, I became the air in the wind. Again, residing at a happy place. It puts a smile on my face to sit by a window and hear no traffic. One of the luxuries to living on the outside of a small town.

My advice to those who feel as Blue as I did yesterday, give yourself a quiet moment. If possible block the traffic that congests your mind, that clogs your heart. Try to silence it's noise, try to listen to your joy.

If even for an instant, find your happy place.


Our Birdie sings.
Life dings, it stings.
People, places, and things.
Don't be bound, cut your strings.
Become the wind, or sprout some wings.
After all who knows what tomorrow brings.

Peace & Love
Loren Wesley Ackerman