Observations of Life. All things considered, I have been pretty lucky. First, the fact that I made it to adulthood let alone being the age I am now. I look back at my first 20 years of life and I am amazed that I made it that far completely intact. Thatís not to say I didnít have an accident or two, but most of the time I only ended up with minor scrapes and bruises. I did break my wrist in my junior year in high school, but only because I wore socks on the gym floor and slipped. Not a very exciting story there, whereas in situations where I could have been a lot more self-destructive, I made it out alive.
Like most people in my generation I was lucky to have two parents. They were products of their upbringing and did a pretty good job of being parents looking back. Sure, there were times like most teenagers I didnít agree with what they wanted me to do, and would think not so nice thoughts about them, but that is probably one of the most common experiences a young person can have. But overall, I like most others at that age knew that they had my best interests at heart.
As I have said before, our home was a small family general store. Being the youngest of three sons, at an appropriate age, we all started to have chores and duties in the store. Tuesdays would be the day the sundries would be delivered and after school we would have to stock the shelves with them. On Fridays we got the big delivery of groceries that then needed to be "put away". This usually took several hours, even with the three of us doing it. Some Fridays the orders were extra large and could take all evening to get done. First we would have to open the cartons carefully so as not to cut any of the inner boxes (we used razor blades and then later we actually had box cutters). After opening, we had to individually write or stamp the price on each item and then put them on the shelf in their proper location. The price stamper worked good on cardboard cartons, but many times did not do well on the canned goods, so we had to write the price on by hand (I did not and still do not have great handwriting). It took longer, but it had to be done.
Thursday was usually the day the lunch meats and cheeses were delivered. We also may have gotten a beef leg and this all had to be taken care of. The beef leg had to be cut into two large pieces and put in the meat case. This required a very large knife and then sawing through the bone with a meat saw (manually). Throughout the week I might have to slice some cheese or bologna and put them in the meat case. Naturally the meat slicer would need to be cleaned.
But grocery items were just one part of the store. We also sold sporting goods as in guns, bows and arrows, fishing rods and tackle-related apparel. But the guns were the biggest part of the second part of the store. In fact, it was the gun shop part that was the real operation and the groceries were there for when it was not hunting or fishing seasons. This will probably scare some readers, but from a very young age I grew up with literally hundreds of guns all around me, and I could pick them up to look at them as I wished. But I also learned to handle them properly with the respect for what they could do.
I learned to shoot and hunt early like most of the boys in the area. I also got a very good basic understanding of gunsmithing and related skills. One thing in particular was the sighting in of rifles when a new scope was mounted on it. In the beginning I would watch my Dad do it at a rifle range. Sometimes I would get to fire a round or two. Eventually, I would get to take the guns to the range and sight them in. I was pretty good at this.
In a way it was pretty neat to shoot all kinds of rifles and handguns, but it was not something that I was driven to do. As a police officer, constable, bounty hunter, and private detective, I would carry a firearm. I would have to practice to remain qualified to carry a firearm as part of these jobs, but I was not overly excited about doing a lot of shooting. I enjoyed it, but I didnít have the drive to do it as often as some of my comrades in the professions. It came easy to me to be a very good shot. I guess the best way to put it is that since I grew up with guns, I didnít have to play with them.
Another thing our family had while growing up was a "hunting cabin". It was something our parents bought from a friend that was a mismatched conglomeration of used lumber, windows, and other building materials part way up the mountainside on an old logging road. You either had to have four-wheel drive or know how to drive mountain roads to get to it. It had lots of ruts and "gooney bird" rocks in the roadway that could take out a gas tank or break an axle. We spent a lot of time just working on making the road a little more passable each year. Part of this work required getting rid of or moving rocks as big as a small car.
We had one rock in the road near the cabin that Dad finally decided had to go. It probably weighed more than a ton and was somewhat oval shaped. It stuck up just enough to whack a wheel rim and cause a flat tire or to get hung up on. At first, we tried blowing it out with black gunpowder. And when I say we, I mean, myself and maybe one of my brothers. Of course Dad was close by. We did all of the digging, the packing of plastic bags of gunpowder balls, and finally, lighting it off. At the ages of 14 and 15 we thought this was kind of neat. Unfortunately, the gunpowder only went poof and made a small mushroom cloud of smoke. It did nothing to move the rock. A month or two later we found out that we were getting the real stuff, namely dynamite. My Dadís Uncle Bob from the Pittsburgh area brought in some dynamite for us to use. How he got it I donít know, but he did live in a coal mining town. Everyone should have an Uncle Bob like we had.
So one nice summer morning we got to play with dynamite. We dug under just enough to pack a stick of dynamite under the rock, stuck in a blasting cap (there is another story about them for some other time) and ran the wires out to behind a tree and got ready. Mom and Dad were about 50 yards away by the cabin and said to fire it off when ready. So I did. It made a boom, lifted the rock about six inches and nothing else. We were a little disappointed that more didnít happen, but since it was the first time, we knew we had to start small using only one stick.
Now I donít remember exactly what we finally decided, whether to use two or three sticks the next time, but whatever we did, it finished the job. We backed the dynamite in, stuck in the blasting cap, covered and packed them with dirt and got ready again to, as we would deliberately say in poor English "make boom!" And again I did. I touched the wires to the railroad battery and there was a bigger boom, some sounds of things flying and it was great. When it was over and I looked out from behind the tree that I had taken as shelter, the rock had split into six manageable pieces and most of them were out of the small crater we created. We were excited and proud of what we had done and survived, and knew we would have stories to tell our friends. As we walked down to the cabin, Mom was standing by the red pickup truck waiting to show us something. She said that as she was resting and leaning over the side of the bed of the truck as things happened, a piece of the rock, maybe an inch or two big, flew over from the blast and whacked the truck right next to where she was standing. That was the closest any of us got to getting hurt with the dynamite. I donít know what we did with the rest of the dynamite, but the ones we did get to play with were fun.
And these were just some of the things I was doing as I was growing up. Maybe in a later issue of Enlightenment I will tell you some more. But for now, the idea of using razor blades and a box cutter at a very early age, cutting meats with a 14" knife, sawing through bones, using a meat slicer that could split a finger quicker than you could imagine and then removing and cleaning the blade, shooting all kinds of firearms and finally, blowing up rocks with dynamite made for not just an interesting life, it was one that built some confidence. I knew that most other kids my age did not have these opportunities. Most others parents would have been scared to death of them. But I was lucky. In the beginning in doing any of these things, I was supervised by my parents. And when I was given the duty and responsibility in doing them, they were still close by in case there ever was a problem. Eventually, as I got older, I got to do more and more and even to the point, that while I was still in high school, on certain days I would open the store myself and would be the only one there. Think just for a moment if anyone today would let a 17-year-open up their store for the day where things like guns, bullets, bows & arrows, knives and other such stuff were present. At this age I could not and did not "sell" any guns because of state laws, but I could still answer questions and help prepare for the sales.
As I said in the beginning, I was lucky, not just because I made it this far, not just because I got to do a lot of "neat stuff", but rather I had parents that gave me opportunities to build confidence with responsibility. Needless to say there were times I was far from perfect, but overall I did OK. But my head still rested fairly stable on the rest of me and I still got to stretch myself a little at a time to try new things in life. Mom and Dad never really discouraged me or said things that might have the tendency to destroy my self esteem or limit my chances to build confidence. Too often I see that in other parents today in the way they treat their children. The negative words and actions parents use can cripple childrenís emotional well-being for a long time, if not a lifetime.
As parents we have tried our best to be positive and supportive of our girls in their explorations of opportunities to grow their confidence and self worth. Not that they havenít caused a few gray hairs in me, but I still think we did a pretty good job. Both have tested and stretched themselves in positive ways to help create who they have become. And as their parents, we are proud. And if you have children too, may you too be just as blessed as we have been with Godís gift to us, our children.
Quotes we liked. "When I look back on all these worries I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened."
Sir Winston Churchill is credited with this quote, but it may have earlier roots. I really like this quote because I see so many people who concoct things to worry about. With everyday events they seem to look for things to go wrong and then fret over them. It is as if they are looking for opportunities to say, "I told you so" if by chance things do not go perfectly. I have often wondered why someone would spend so much energy in worry on things they have no control over or things that will probably never happen. Worry has never solved or fixed a problem, whereas constructive thinking and action has. As human beings we will at times have worries, but to live a life manufacturing worries or obsessing over them is unhealthy. Yes, I do have concerns about life and what is going to happen at times, but life is too short for time wasted on needless worry.
What to expect."How long does it take?" is a question that I am often asked. This is a three part question. The hypnosis itself happens very quickly. First, in just a matter of minutes of beginning the induction, the client is in hypnosis. Many times the person will slip into hypnosis and not realize it. Secondly, the time in hypnosis can be just a few minutes upward to 20 or 30 minutes, depending on what the client is there for. Finally, how many sessions will be required is usually the biggest concern. For some just one. For others and depending on their situation or issue, there could be two, three, four or more. With one exception, most problems can be addressed with no more than four sessions. The exception to this would be weight loss. For most clients, this requires a commitment of once a week for a month, then two visits the next month, then once a month. Around this time we would evaluate the progress and determine what future visits should be. In saying all of that, everyone is an individual and the actual number of visits is determined by each need. Our promise to you is to do it in as few visits as necessary to do the job right; no more, no less.
For more information on hypnosis and how it can help you, call us at 717-872-7561.
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Roger & Patti