Friday, June 29, 2018

2018 06 Dominican Republic and the Osage


2018 06 25 Dominican Republic and the Osage
Here I sit on the top of a mountain in a beautiful house enjoying the fruits of a life given to me by my creator, my parents and of course growing up in the Osage.  I cannot help but be amazed at the creation by God’s hands.  The flowers and the trees and of course the climate in the DR are fantastic but how can anyone believe a BIG BANG created this?  Just take some common-sense logic, like if it were a big bang, which is taking something that exists and exploding it into a chaos vs. a finely developed order of creation.  I don’t know precisely how everything was made and absolutely no one on earth today or in the past knows.  They can only guess and look at evidence but remember, that things like carbon dating is a science and absolutely no one knows for sure if it is accurate.  In fact, I heard a PHD from one of the major colleges in California say that there is evidence that carbon dating is potentially off by thousands of percent.  For those who remember Aunt Gladys (Gladys Snyder-science teacher extraordinaire) she was a firm believer in evolution and she was a joy to talk to and study with.  I cannot explain the difference in Biblical teaching and science but no one else can, not even the smartest person out there.
The folks here in the DR are extraordinarily friendly and hospitable.  They seem to desire to serve you and they enjoy life even though they do not have the luxuries we have in the states.  Their families are much closer and in many respects like the “good old days” in the Osage.  The evenings are spent eating together and talking while just sitting in a circle which includes all the family.  That means kids as well.
I do remember the Shumate’s, the Snyder’s and the Kelsey’s would be at our house playing cards or just talking for hours.  Sometimes the Arrington’s would drive down from Shidler and spend the evening and again just sit around and talk and of course eat together.  Even if there was no company visiting we would sit on the porch and watch the coyotes run across the hills or at least listen to them howling back and forth.  That was great fun.  Life seemed much like the DR and I have to say it takes some getting use to these days.  I guess I just need to slow down.
So what does all this mean?
What do you learn in the Osage?
·        Stuff is much less important than family and friends
·        Time is fleeting, and you don’t get a second chance to use it because it is already gone
·        Happiness is where the heart is and that is precisely why stuff does not make you happy
Thanks for listening,
gary


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Scores tied, no time outs and you are in the 4th quarter

What or how do you want the game to end?

I use to say that some day I will see my dad drive off into the sunset driving a tractor which is just like him.  My dad, Clifford Olson, lived with a purpose.  Every morning he would get up before daylight and I don't know how he did it but he always had a mental list of what needed to be done.  He had a great attitude in that he seemed to love whatever he was doing even if it were running a weed eater or driving steel posts while making a fence.  I don't ever remember him being particularly competitive in any way but he seemed to always have a purpose.  That reminds me, you should look up Jim Whitt's website, http://www.purposeunlimited.com and sign up for his blog.  He is from Shidler or Apperson or Denoya (not sure which one).   Back to the story:  So here I am and maybe you too, 65 years old (Joe Conner had a birthday yesterday 5/2 and I believe it was  1948) and thinking about what I want to do the rest of my life. 

So here goes, "be prepared to live, not wait to die".  So what if you are not the most organized or the most talented or smartest person around.  I just want to finish strong, do something meaningful, not necessarily great.  Dad did something meaningful in that he left a legacy to all his children and grandchildren.  Cliff Crow and Richard Crow and Chase Olson (grandson's) will tell you their grandpa made a big difference in them.  He gave them an example to live by and I would say they are three of the greatest dads out there.   You/I may never know what our legacy is or will be but I believe if we purpose to make a difference it will be great.  Well, I don't know how you are going to prepare to live but here is my list:
  • Serve and love my children
  • spend time with my grandchildren (only one right now but she is perfect)
  • Mentor a few folks 
  • Fish with friends and family
  • Take dance lessons (Shouna and I are in our second month of country dancing)
  • start another business, or is it too late?  Lane Legacy (lanelegacy.company)
  • Let folks know that I am a believer in Christ and am not perfect but only through Him can I be
Well, what do you learn in the Osage?
  • do what is right and it will work out
  •  someone is watching you and learning from you every moment
  • as Dad would say, "let's do something even if it is wrong"
Thanks for listening,
gary
gary@thepioneerman.com





Thursday, April 26, 2018

Luckily we all change or I suppose it might be unlucky

A friend asked me yesterday (4/25/2018) if I was ornery as a child and as I recall I would say no.  For those who knew me, email and tell me if I am wrong.  Anyway, I told them I suffered in many ways because I grew up physically so fast that my self esteem suffered.  I was pretty quiet or at least reserved in many ways.  I was not one to take chances and I hardly ever got in trouble although Shouna, my wife of 43 years, reminded me that I ripped Denise Logue's dress off and I did get in trouble. 

Now the real story is Denise hit me in the back with her fist during a game and I swung around and grabbed her and she took off without her dress.  Mr. Lewis Morris was not a happy principle and he was going to give it to me.  Now remember in the 6th grade I was 6'2" and about 200 pounds with a 6th grade mind.  I told him I do not understand why I was in trouble as she hit me in the back and it was an accident her dress got ripped.  He confirmed the story and I did not get a whoopin (spanking).   So, I am reasonably confident I would not be considered ornery or even a trouble maker as a youth all the way through high school.  Now I would say that Eddy Harris and Jon Tanny Olsen taught me some tricks and they were for sure ornery.  Eddy is the one who taught me how to use dynamite to go fishing and how to duck hunt with a 30/30 and paint every tool we could find with Allis Chalmers orange and he taught me to break eggs in the chicken house.  Jon Tanny taught me how to drive over 100 miles per hour on ICE (the frozen water ICE) and he hunted ducks with a 30/30 as well.  Jon could fix anything and had an incredibly creative mind.  He was absolutely ornery.

So what really defines ornery?  I don't think I really know but here are a few things that give me the reputation.  When I was in college this girl  (Joyce Bing, not sure how to spell her last name) brought over some cookies to my apartment and put them in my hand upon which she crushed the cookies in my hand.  Now that was ornery.  In retaliation I turned her upside down and put those crushed cookies in her pants then I shook her upside down so the cookies would be sure and spread around.  They looked like oatmeal raisin which probably would have tasted good but she created the situation, not me.

Then there was Cathy Eaton at the annual Osage County 4-H livestock show in Pawhuska where she was bothering me (flirting) while I was preparing my show lamb (sheep) for the show.  Since I was being aggravated while I was busy I chased her away with the sheep sheers (a type of scissors) and I accidentally cut a big chunk of hair off her head.  Boy, did I get in trouble.  Again, you can see I was not the problem and I was not ornery.  It was a Fruiden response to her act of aggression.

So now you can see I was a victim and never ornery or at fault.

So what do you learn in the Osage?

  • don't take blame for what others start
  • innocence is in the eyes of the beholder not necessarily what you think it means
  • Life is like a box of chocolates, you just don't know what you are gonna get
  • You have to live with the cards you are dealt
Thanks for listening,
gary@thepioneerman.com


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

What's the point?


So now I will give you a little story that occurred today (2018/04/02) on getting to know folks.  I was at the local McDonald's getting my coffee (senior coffee) and breakfast burrito (my normal Tuesday morning breakfast) when I saw a couple and the lady was wearing a Ponca City (Oklahoma for those who are geographically challenged) sweatshirt.  I asked if she was from Ponca and of course she was but she was raised in Blackwell (Greg Clifford has family connections and old memories of Blackwell).  I told them I was raised across the river from Ponca and they asked me where.  I explained Shidler but really Grainola is home.  He stated his uncles lived in Grainola and were Paul and Arnold Jones (Arnold was a highly decorated Marine) at which I replied I hauled hay for Paul (a pilot and my first airplane ride and that is another story) for 3 summers.  Did I mention that Paul was working for E.C. Mullendore who was murdered and there is a book about the murder?  Well back to the subject.  Hugh Allen Jones (Arnold’s son and a Marine as well) was one of five in my first 8 grades of school and of course I knew the rest of the family.  Then they asked if I ever get back up around home and I said I got close this weekend when I went to my sisters’ house in Perry for Easter lunch (lunch is what city folks call dinner).  She asked who my sister was, and I told her Debbie Schaefer and she informed me that my nephew Richard Crow (Debbie’s son) married her first cousin, Nancy (from Blackwell).  And the story goes on and on but here is the point.  If you don’t engage folks, you might miss finding out some interesting facts and you might find someone who is a near relative or a relative that you never met.  Then above all that you might, just might, get an opportunity to tell them about Jesus and what He means to you (remember Easter).

I have never been disappointed when I have shown interest in getting to know a stranger.  Of course my favorite one is when Preston, my son with down syndrome, was at McDonalds and he saw this big burly guy with tattoos and a leather jacket with lots of patches who just looked down right scary.  As it turned out he was not from Hell's Angels but was a pretty nice guy.  As Preston approached him and said, "Hey man" he dropped to one knee and looked Preston in the eye and they became friends.  Of course Preston hugged him and they became instant best friends.  Did I mention he had a beard and mustache and big white teeth which made him look like an arm pit with teeth when he smiled?

Well, what do you learn in the Osage?
  • All folks are the same but different, they want to be friends
  • don't judge a book by its cover or its tattoos
  • Life is a lot more fun when you engage our differences in a positive manor
Thanks for listening,
gary@thepioneerman.com




Tuesday, March 27, 2018

I always wanted to be someone's hero, but who is the real hero in your life?

Some things just never leave your mind like the time I saved Denise Logue's life.  Mom and her buddies were having the Home Demonstration Club meeting at our house and Denise and I were just hanging together while the ladies did whatever ladies do. 

Denise was wearing a pretty dress that day and she had curly blond hair.  Man was she HOT!  Anyway there was this dirt duster or dirt devil or whirley wind coming down the gravel road on Beaver Creek toward us and my manly instincts kicked in and I took her soft delicate hand and took her to safety in the garage just west of our house and west of the well house and cellar.  Some folks call the garage a house for cars and a well house is where the water pump is for getting water for the house and whatever else needs water.  Anyway, as we stood in the opening of the garage which was really just a storage shed big enough for a few cars or a lot of hay or a place for storage of wood and other tools, I held her hand and told her I would keep her safe.  What a hero!  Did I mention she was 5 years old?  So was I. 

Denise was one of the original Grainola 5, sometimes 6 and once 7.  I think I will explain that.  There was the original five of Jon Tanny Olsen, Hugh Allen Jones, Jimmy Heath, myself and one girl, Denise Logue and sometimes Joy Frank (our second girl) would be in Grainola Grade School and sometimes she would go to Shidler and then there was Ralph for one year and Bo Fulsom.  As you can see we had as much as a 40% swing in attendance over 8 years or 7 depending on when you transferred to Shidler.  Maybe I did not make it clear but that was the total number of folks in the 8 grades of school while in Grainola, Oklahoma where I grew up.
 
Everyone of these folks are worth a story or two but let me tell you about Ralph.  He was a bit slow and probably impacted me more than anyone could ever know.  Two things about Ralph that impacted me, one was that he was the only other person who had to sit in the extra large chairs brought into the first and second grade class.  You see I was always feeling like a freak because I was exceptionally tall even before I started school so they brought in a big chair for me.  It made me very self conscience and when Ralph joined me it gave me a sense of relief.  The second thing about Ralph that impacted me was that he was exceptionally slow mentally.  I hated to see him treated unfairly and he was exceptionally kind to everyone no matter how they treated him.  That was his strongest trait and he showed me how to treat folks even when they were rude.  You know the Bible tells us to love our enemies so I guess Ralph was just blessed to be on God's side.

Well I still miss Denise and would love to locate her as we lost touch over the years.  I tried to track her down over the years and the last I heard she was living in Cushing or Oklahoma City.  Do you think she still thinks of me as her hero?  It has been only 60 years since that event.

So what do you learn in the Osage?

  • stuff rots and memories last a lifetime
  • Even slow Ralph was a teacher and a good buddy
  • Ralph was the real hero in this story
Thanks for listening,
gary@thepioneerman.com



Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Walking the Camino or the Osage

Ya'll are smarter than me so you probably know all about this but it is new to me.  I have some friends in their early 60's who just walked the Camino and said it was a great time.   Just to enlighten you, it is a 500 (one of the options) mile walk across Spain!  Yep!  FIVE HUNDRED MILES.  It took them 30 days and it is known as a spiritual journey.  I think most folks today see it as a wonderful site seeing opportunity, but I may be wrong.  Anyway, I just watched a video which discouraged me more than it sold me on the idea.  If you have walked the Camino please tell me what your experience was by emailing me at gary@thepioneerman.com. 

I still have not walked the Camino but I have walked a lot of the Osage.  I suppose it is not so easy today with folks worrying about strangers walking across their land but the Osage has a lot to offer.  I use to hunt and fish all up and down Beaver Creek and my favorite parts were looking for Indian arrow heads and skipping rocks across the water plus seining for minnows.  I never ran out of things to do on the creek as it was filled with treasures.  In the fall the cotton woods were bright yellow and in the spring bright green and shimmering in the sun.  The animals gave up their locations if you would stay still and listen and not move.  The quiet times on the creek were not just thinking times but discovery of sounds and textures and light and shadows.  Owls to hawks to red birds to quail or just the rustling of the leaves and grass as a critter moved along created a delight in my spirit.  It was not uncommon to see big red squirrels or a raccoon and of course beaver doing their daily chores. 

Add a fishing pole and a nap on the banks of the creek and you could see heaven and at least you knew that it was not created by a BIG BANG.  Laying on the creek in the hot summer was a delight because the gravel and soil you laid on was cool and generally there was a gentle breeze on the creek.  The big winds could not get down to the creek which was protected by high dirt banks or rock ledges.  It is funny how now looking back it seems gross that I drank from the creek and never got sick but that water was cool and fresh and clear from the springs up the creek.  And yes, the cows and other animals shared that same water.

Tall grass for miles and rolling hills to creeks and valleys to the water falls at Shidler and the Salt Creek rock ledges and limestone filled with fossils and a history of cowboys and Indians and settlers and trees 100 feet tall along the waters edge make the Osage ever bit as good as any place in the world. 

So what do you learn in the Osage?

  • be quiet and listen and you might hear the voice of God 
  • you can't beat a day in the Osage on Beaver Creek
  • Walking the Camino or walking the Osage builds character
I love talking to you.
Thanks for listening,
gary@thepioneerman.com












2018 06 Dominican Republic and the Osage

2018 06 25 Dominican Republic and the Osage Here I sit on the top of a mountain in a beautiful house enjoying the fruits of a life give...