This past week Linda and I went out to put up flyers announcing our workshop on June 8th at the Kingston Barnes & Noble. Linda (my lady) spent today contacting as many parent groups as she possibly could via email and we have some really great responses coming back to us! Self-acceptance and accepting the people around you seems to be something that we as humans are moving towards rapidly and we are joining one another in order to accomplish it.
I don’t want this blog to just be about what I am doing. I wanted to tell you stories of events that occurred in my life and what I learned from them. As I said in my first blog I would share stories and what I learned from those stories and I hope that you will share your stories with me.
When I was a kid, the first summer out of high school, I got a job at a local farm. Before I started this job I was hanging out with some of my friends and told them that I had gotten this job. They informed me that they had worked there in the past. They then informed me that I was going to meet a man named John (Please note that the photo above is not a photo of John. I tried to get one, but was unable to, so I used a photo of Martin MacDaniel, my wife Linda’s grandfather). They told me that this man was nothing more than a crazy old farmer. He had really peculiar ways and he only told 6 or 7 stories. Then he would tell the same 6 or 7 stories over and over all summer long. They were all laughing when they told me how crazy this old farmer was.
Well I have never been one for listening to someone when they told me who someone was. I was going to find out for myself. When I arrived on the farm and met John I found a man who was just really comfortable with his life. As I started working with him, I noticed a few things that he did that someone else might say “that’s crazy”. For instance, every day for the first week or so that I was there after we met in the barn, he would get on the tractor. I had my back to him so I couldn’t see what he was doing, but he was saying something to the effect of “see the feathers fly”. As I said, this went on for a week or so and finally I said to myself, “what the heck is this guy doing?” So I turned around and as he was saying, “see the feathers fly” he had just sat down on an old down pillow that was on the tractor seat and he had feathers all around his head (what a great sense of humor).
When it came to lunch time, that was the time that we were together the most where we could talk. John started telling his stories. After a week or so of telling the stories that he was telling at lunch time, he started telling the stories over again. When he started telling the stories over I finally put my hands up and stopped him. I said whoa, whoa, whoa I’m not going to listen to a new story until you finish the last one. He looked at me as if I was the only person in years that had listened to him and cared enough to know more of the story. From then on, John finished those six or seven stories and then for the rest of the summer he told me stories of local history of that area that dated back to when he was a little boy and he was in his seventies at the time. John actually became a good friend of mine. I had a woodworking shop and he would drive the tractor over to visit me and I would visit the farm. When he got sick my wife and I went to see him and we attended his funeral.
John in many ways was a very open-minded man, when you finally gave him a chance, and a brilliant historian.
Early on in my relationship with John and many, many times over the years, I have felt really sad for my friends who missed out on an incredible friend just because they didn’t give him a chance. So the next time someone tells you who someone else is, take a little bit of time and decide for yourself.
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