I hate the cold, despise it.  I have to tolerate it but that doesn’t mean I like it.  I cover my body with long johns and long-sleeved tshirts so that not a breath of the frigid cold touches my skin.  It’s challenging, the temperature this morning when I took the dogs out to pee was -8, we nearly made it to a double digit high this afternoon, but not quite.  If you think I’m bad you should have seen my little therapy dog when we went out this morning.  She felt the breeze from the open door, turned and ran, saying “That’s OK Daddy, I’ll just pee in the house, its really not an issue.  I don’t mind.”  She already knows that turd doesn’t float and Daddy does mind.  I see this weather as one thing, she see’s it as another.  Who is right, well, it all depends on your point of view.  If we were to poll a thousand tiny hypo-allergenic dogs they would undoubtedly side with Saga Horribilus (Latin: Horrible Witch).  But poll a thousand loving wives and they would be screaming for the hanging of poor Saga as a message to all other uncontrollable creatures who might want to shit on the floor.

So here’s something from a completely different point of view.  A giant oak tree, just outside Nashville TN.  That tree witnessed the Battle of Nashville, that part is true, what it thought, if it even does is a matter for speculation.  “The Steel Drivers” speculate about what the tree saw.  If this doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, you’re not human.

Americans, both those the “color of the sky in winter” and those “as blue as the night.”  Can I not pay them both their due, without being judged?  I know the price paid by being a warrior in an age when very few do and judge them both worthy.  Those Americans who fought and nearly won are due theirs as well as the victors.    I’m not broken I’m just bent, I don’t work quite right but I still work.  The way I see the world isn’t anything like you do, yet I sleep with my visions most every night.  Some nights the visions wake me screaming but that doesn’t mean they weren’t the result of the only means with which to deal with harsh reality.

Ban the symbols of one and you weaken the other.  If the weaker hadn’t fought so valiantly the end would not have meant so much.  Perhaps the people who gave so much are due a little respect from those who haven’t given a goddamned thing.  Perhaps the people who haven’t given a goddmned thing aren’t due anything.  The next time I hear “Hands up don’t shoot” I’ll think “the Colors flew high and they danced in the sky as they came over the hill.”  Then I’ll think of that number I’ve known who “lay so still.”  You decide who is worthy, I can’t tell you who to pick.

Retired Paratrooper, Biker, Tattoo Artist