Friday, January 2, 2009

A Time For Reflection...!

Well, it's the first day of the new year and time for me to look at my plans for the immediate future...

First, let me say that I'm a simple man. I don't ask for much, nor do I expect it. Like most people, I've had a dream for a long time of having some land in the country paid for...not a big spread, just big enough so that I could move myself and my family out to it and live a simple life.

The only problems with that idea were that no one shared my enthusiasm for them. When I was married the last time, my wife and I discussed this idea at great length. She was really behind the idea...or so I thought!

We ended up buying 13 acres in east Texas, just 6 miles outside of her home town. The land was all woods (mostly hardwoods with some pine), had a small creek running through one side, and was about a half mile from the small lake outside of town. Perfect!

Since we were living in Austin at the time, the wife and kids (2 step children) stayed in Austin, and I got out of the cab business, sold all of my cabs, and moved to east Texas. I put a small travel trailer on the property, had some of the trees selectively cut and sold them to a tree harvester, and started work on the property.

I had got a full time job at that time as the sporting goods manager at W**-Mart, an ideal job for someone living in the country that liked to hunt and fish. I would work all day at the store, drive home to my small trailer, work on pulling stumps and clearing brush, running all the water lines from the county road at the property's edge by hand, took care of getting the electric company set up and power run to the trailer. Took me the better part of a year to get a place cleared and cleaned where we wanted the cabin.

I met a lady in town whose husband had died and who had a 2 story barn shaped workshop in her back yard. She said if I would tear it down, I could have the wood if I would haul it off. So I did just that! Hauled that lumber out to my place, pulled nails, organized boards by size, burned the bad ones in my wood burning stove and heater (my wife's uncle had given me one) and with my then father in law's help, laid out the stakes and ground work for the cabin.

During this time, the wife and kids would come and visit off and on...never staying very long. That is, until the time came to start building. Somehow I lost all control and input as to how I wanted things done. The wife moved down with the kids, her brother showed up for a visit with some friends and nail guns and plans, the father in law came over daily...everybody started building . The framework, sub flooring, walls, roof, windows, outside doors...everything was completed in 2 days time. Most of which, I was at work and not included in the construction.

Now, don't get me wrong...I appreciated the help...but didn't like the fact that everything was done to conform to how everyone but me thought the cabin should be done. Short version of the rest is that after the framing, all left. I did the rest...the siding, tin roof, the whole thing.

Four months later while I was at work, the wife packed up the kids, took what she wanted, threw everything else in the front yard and started a fire with it, and left. No note, no explanation, just gone. Just me and the dog left in the dream cabin (unfinished) in the woods near the wife's home town.

Within a year, I had lost my job, my family, my cabin and land, my dog was killed by a wandering pack, my truck blew up, I had heart trouble and had to leave the country and move back to Houston to be close to the V.A. and slowly began to dream and plan all over again.

That is when HermitJim came about. I learned a lot of lessons during that year! Lessons I won't soon forget...

No more letting others take over my dreams and plans. No more letting others decide my future. No more trying to shape what and who I am to please others. No more living in places I don't really want to live in. In short, what you see is what you get. If you ask, I'll share my plans...but they are NOT open to discussion.

I don't do crowds. I don't do clubs. I don't do anything to put myself in harms way just to impress or show off. If you don't like what I say, don't listen. If you don't like what I do, don't watch. If you don't like my lifestyle, I DON'T CARE !!! It's mine, not yours.Got it? Good!

Sorry for the long winded post...just wanted to get that off my chest first thing this year! I appreciate you taking the time to read my little rant...

Now, let me buy you a cup of coffee, my friend!


Cygnus MacLlyr said...

I'm of the school that we all hear our own drummer. When we see someone else dancing to the same rhythm... cool.
If not-- 'hey, nice drum. Dance on...'

Be true to ones self. All else is gravy...


Anonymous said...

I'm with Cygnus!

FarmerGeek said...

Sorry to hear your story, but at least you didn't let it take the desire out of you!

treesong said...

Gosh, except for the location our stories are nearly identical. I am the one who drove off though - and left him and the woman he'd been having an affair with - with the unfinished house that I designed and worked on every damn day.

But time helps heal the wounds and the silver lining was meeting Sweetie and now hearing that the ex is having an affair in the new marriage.

Guess you've discovered that your own company is best.

HermitJim said...

Hey Cygnus...sure do appreciate the visit. Lucky for me, the drummer plays a slower tempo than I can keep up!

See ya in a bit.

Hey Molly...thanks for the visit! Always nice to have new friends dop by.

Hey FG...good to see ya this morning! Nothing will ever take away the dream, and come warmer weather the move commences! In the meantime, it's keep on prepping!

Thanks for stopping by!

Hey Treesong...I guess that it's like the old saying, "what doesn't kill us makes us stronger". The good thing about what happened is the wake up call I go about how easy I was willing to give up my dreams and plans for someone else's version. Won't happen again!

Sure do appreciate the visit this morning!

Phelan said...

Ones past makes them who they are today. My story is very different than yours, and sad in its own way. But it has made me more determined to do things how I want them done. The rest can eff off for all I care. There was something else I wanted to say, probably very up lifting and sure to make your day, but I have memory issues because of my migraines and just totally lost what that was. If I find that thought, I'll let you know. Good luck on your journey. It should be an interesting year for us all.

HermitJim said...

Hey Phelan...I am so lad you could drop by this morning!I think that was the best thing I learned out of those stay true to my own plans! Some will approve, some will not! Their problem, not mine...

Hey, come on back anytime! I can be counted on to always have a pot of coffee going...and I think you're right about the new year being an interesting one!

Ken said... difficult as it is to say,even harder yet sometimes to understand...everything happens for a reason Brother...the trick is to understand the reason...not the events that were the catalyst...
...thanx for the coffee,i needed it...

kookster said...

Wow, sorry to hear of your plight. That doesn't sound fun. But at the same time at least you have some land with water on it! I'm jealous! If I lived closer I'd offer to come help you rebuild your cabin...under your plans of course :)

HermitJim said...

Hey Ken...thanks for stopping by.

Luckily for me, this all happened long enough ago that I have no bitterness left about it. Now I think only about the fact that I wasn't meant to be there at that time, and that I was due for a wakeup call back then.

So, life goes on...we learn and live, and all is good in the preppers world (at least for now)

DarklyFey said...

What an incredible story! I wish you all the best in 2009, wish you good health and your own dreams come to life!

HermitJim said...

Hey Kookster...I appreciate the thought, but it's been several years ago that this took place. I lost the land I had at the time.

Now I have 5 acres in the Big Bend area of West Texas (no water) and that's where I'm planning to head to soon.

Thanks for stopping by!

HermitJim said...

Hey DarklyFey...good of you to stop by! I appreciate the good wishes, and the same to you and FH!

I learned from this to not dwell on the past, and look to the future. Enjoy the time we have, ya know?

Catman said...

Dang, Jim.

Wow. Just wow. I admire your fortitude. Just look at what circumstance has driven people to. Recently the Santa Clause Killer down in SoCal. Locally, we had an retired firefighter rob an AM/PM and commit suicide by cop. He had a pellet gun.

Catman said...

Dang, Jim.

Wow. Just wow. I admire your fortitude. Just look at what circumstance has driven people to. Recently the Santa Clause Killer down in SoCal. Locally, we had an retired firefighter rob an AM/PM and commit suicide by cop. He had a pellet gun.

Lois said...

And I second that Wow. Wow!! Was it Shakespeare who said, "to thine ownself be true"? And this is what we must be, we must own our self, truly know our self, and then we can be true to our nature.

I am glad you do not express any bitterness for the past, that is a bad poison to deal with.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee!!

I'm having my 3rd cup with you.

And, Happy New Year!


HermitJim said...

Hey Catman...when I look back now, I wonder at the fact that I never let it get me down like I thought it would. I guess I'm just getting mellow in my old age...

Not the first time I've had to start all over again...hope it's the last, though!

Thanks for stopping by, my friend!

HermitJim said...

Hey Lois...I really am glad you could stop by today! Funny, but when I reached the point in my life where I quit being bitter about the past, I started to get healthier both in mind and in body!

Positive thoughts attract positive for me1

Thanks again...

js said...

Hey good post Jim. I liked it.

I stopped pleasing folks a long time ago. Well, in the meantime I have managed to piss off a few folks, and like you, I don't care!

Guilt is not in my vocabulary.

Although when I do apologize, I do mean it.

I know that life here is not going to work out. You can't please everyone and every thing. you just can't. And life will eventually get complicated. It always does. So what? Move on.

Thanks for posting that Jim!


HermitJim said...

Hey John...thanks for coming by and for the comments.

Life's too short to spend on hate, or on being bitter, even trying to please people. Like you said, better to just move on to a better time, better place, and better way of thinking. It's all just a temporary stop anyway.

Thanks again...

ANDY & MEL LOWE said...

Hi Jim

wonderful post thanks for sharing it

i'm with you 2009 is going to be an amazing year

all the best from the scottish highlands

andy & mel x

HermitJim said...

Hey Mal & Andy...So glad you could drop by and visit. I love the pics you've been sharing on your blog. The beauty all around us is astonishing sometimes, isn't it?

I hope your wanderings around the highlands continues to be filled with happiness and joy.

Thanks again...

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

All the comments, uncle; looks like that desert solitude might just turn into more of a Harem! ha!
[hmm.. maybe i'll spill beans, give up the ozark, and come desert way...

NAH!!! :D]

Hey, lets do that cardboard oven this weekend. I wanna try some 'low'-knead wheat beer/bread.


Mayberry said...

Dang Hermit, yer life is a country song! I'll not gripe so much anymore..... Hope you can escape to your land soon.

HermitJim said...

Mayberry...hadn't thought about it that way, but maybe you're right! I could put it to music and see what happens, ya think?

If all goes as planned, I'll be gone before mid year...but you know Mr. Murphy and his Law!

Thanks for coming by!

scoutinlife said...

Hermit Jim, Thank you for sharing an giving insight of part of your history!

ConfessionsOfAnOverworkedMom said...

Sounds like a good philosophy to me! I gave up caring what people think a long time ago.

HermitJim said...

Hey Scout...thanks for coming by. I am just glad I could start the New Year off by getting this off my mind and off my chest!

Enjoyed your post about muzzle loader hunting season. Any chance to spend in the woods is a treasure, I think.

Thanks again.

HermitJim said...

Hey OWMom...just wish I had not waited so long to learn that lesson!

I sure do thank you for coming by. You have a good day, my friend!

Stephanie in AR said...

With the internet its much easier to find people with similiar ideas too. Sometimes it takes a good smackdown to know just where we stand. Glad you had the strength to stand back up.

Lydia said...

Hey Jim,

We all have our stories right? Well as long as you're not stuck in yours all is well. And by the sound of it, it certainly seems like you have healed these old wounds, and that's great!

Many people stay stuck, then they hate others, are mean to others and so on, and it is not because they don't care about pleasing others, but it is because they are bitter and still have not forgiven their past or even current situations, their stories. So they stay stuck, and they take it out on the world around them. That's really sad.

There were so many blogs I read before I even began to write my own, yours was one of them, and the only one I stuck with. I can see through the bull on the others, but with you, I knew it was genuine kindness! I am so glad I did, because you befriended me so quickly and against all odds as they say. Each day I read what you write and each day I am happy for having met you through this blogosphere. :)

You're a good person Jim. I am very glad that your past situation has not turned you into a bitter hateful angry person, as has happened to many others who have gone though hardship.

Anyway, apologies for how lengthily this comment is, but I just had to say thanks for being such a good person! You can tell also by the number of replies you have gotten here, how loved/liked you are! :)


Edain: said...

All I can say is...

Bloody well said! :)

HermitJim said...

Hey glad to see you here again. Smackdowns are good, but only on occasion,

Standing back up was the only option I even considered at the time.

Hey, thanks for coming by and for the comments!

HermitJim said...

Hey friend, I am so glad you came by tonight. I value you visits and your friendship, and I thank goodness everyday that I was able to meet folks like you on the net!

Your comments are very kind, and I hope I can live up to them. I'll certainly try. With friends like you, my life is more full than ever before. I hope it continues to be that way.

Thanks again, my friend!

HermitJim said...

Hey Edain...what a beautiful name! I don't think I've ever heard it before!

I appreciate you taking the time to drop by for a cup...and for a read!

Hopefully I can learn from your blog, and maybe you'll drop by again...I certainly hope so!

The Scavenger said...

Jim, sorry to hear that things went south for you but I know you are on the right track now my friend. "To thy own self be true", the rest will fall into place. I know you will find the peace that you seek, I just know it and you know it too I'm sure. Stay Jim and do what Jim wants to do, that's the good life.


HermitJim said...

Hey Chris...glad you came by tonight. Sometimes a little dose of bad times is needed to make us appreciate the good times even more.

The best things to come out of what happened all those years ago (about 10, I think) is that this time I have met all the folks that are prepping and that I have been able to learn the proper way to do things. For this, I'll always be grateful!

Maybe I should send the ex a "thank you" card...NAW! Better let sleeping dogs lie, or lay, or whatever it is!

Hey, thanks again for dropping by, my man!

blondie said...

Holy Cow!
I am not going to read them all.

Really loved your post and learning more about you. Quite a story.

You Go Jim!!!!
Do your own thing and enjoy the crap out of it :)
We're here with ya all the way!
Happy New Year,
Luv ya,

ANDY & MEL LOWE said...

Hi Jim

thanks for your comments on my wee blog

so glad you are enjoying my photography

well i'm of to get some wood in for the burner

lots of love to you


andy x mel x

HermitJim said...

Hey Blondie...I'm glad you stopped by today. I'm always glad to see my favorite blonde person!

That part of my life reads like a bad novel, huh? Oh well, things are better and life goes on.

Hopefully this next year won't have anything but good surprises for us! We'll see!

Love ya, my friend!

Mr. Natural said...

Yea, I heard THAT, Jim! Back in the day, I had a wife who was hot to "homestead" out in the hills. Found a beautiful isolated 41 acres with a shack and a barn (hay shed). Long story short - I had to go back to work on the tugs to make ends meet, and she started banging the neighbors. Not that I really BLAME her, it was pretty isolated out there...that was then and this is now. I have a pretty good Kiwi wife now, and hoping to sell THIS paid for place to move to New Zealand. Just too bad nobody's BUYING shit like nice homes with big-ol shop buildings at the beach, eh?

I sort of see a crew here between you, busted knuckles, me and some others...could be...sure don't matter one dot, but worth a mention...

Peace and good things,
Mr. Natural

HermitJim said...

Hey Mr. Natural...good to see ya, my man! Always a pleasure to have someone that likes swapping ideas and sharing stories.

Very pretty place you have on the market...and N.Z. is an ideal place for thos that like boating!

I have a friend that's a nurse in N.Z. that probably be more than happy to show you around a bit when you get moved!

Hey, you stay in touch, from here or there! OK?

js said...

I'd like to move, but don't know where. Am kinda lost right now. Don't know what to do, where to go...

but hey, I should not complain. At least I have some money available.

Thanks for your posts Jim.


HermitJim said...

Hey John...don't know if you are considering the states or staying in Canada...but if you are looking for some land in the country in the states, take a look at

They have some pretty nice settings in which to build!

Thanks for stopping by!

js said...

Problem is Jim, the States are more active at saueezing every penny out of a person even though the IRS is not a FED org. You know? It's pretty scary there.


hsjacobus said...

You have persevered! I hope that your next move brings you all your hoping it will.