I have never been afraid to do anything by myself .Since I was a kid I’ve enjoyed moving about in solitude , unimpeded in my thoughts or actions by the presence and will of others . Many things I have done and enjoyed are best done in the safety of a group , but I have always refused to compromise my time and methods . Here’s an example : I was 17 when a friend invited me on a deer hunt with himself and his father . I gratefully accepted . When we arrived at our destination my friend said” follow me ” . He led me to a place and said “sit here ” . I looked around and walked to a different spot over looking a well used deer trail leading to a thicket . I said ” I’ll sit here . Can you still find me later ? If not I’ll meet you at the train tracks , straight ahead ” . He agreed and crashed off through the ice crusted snow . I swear every deer in the county could hear him ,even over the sound of a train ! 30 minutes later I heard the same massive crashing sound meandering through the woods , accompanied by the sound of a man yelling ,” coffee break!” . Over and over . Louder and LOUDER , until my friend was standing in front of me .” well, did you see anything?” , he asked . At that time I would rather have shot him than any buck ,and proceeded to bitch him out . Yes the weather was awful ; the howling winds put the windchill in the single digits . But I will sit there for 12 hours if I have to , rather than get up to warm up and drive deer away with all that noise . If you’re not committed , STAY HOME ! I decided right then that I am not cut out to turn activities that are important to me into social visits , and I never did again . Couple that with my distaste for asking for help and my dad was prompted , many times ,to remind me that ,”no man is an island “. Well now you did it ,dad . You pissed me off ! Don’t tell me that I can’t do something that I want ! I swear it just drives a mans ego after that . I have learned to accept my limits when I see them , as time has passed , but I haven’t gotten any better at asking for, or accepting ,help . What I have learned over the years ,as I have matured and become more ‘social’ , is that when a friend helps you physically , he/she is actually extending their ‘heart’ . I have learned that by helping others and it is why I have become so appreciative of others helping me . I can’t say enough to show my appreciation to those who have helped me along the way . My friends know who they are so I’ll be vague enough here to thank them by keeping them nameless to preserve their privacy : as always ,there’s my long time friend who lives down the road from me , who is more like family now than a neighbor ; there’s my neighbor on my ‘west side ‘ who is friendly and generous enough to move my chicken coop with his tractor , which took more effort than it sounds . He has also permitted me to bow hunt the back of his property ,which gets me away from the houses , and welcomed me to use my atv on his logging road since my ability to carry anything long distances has greatly diminished since my heart attack . Thanks goes to our friends on their farm ‘down the road a piece ‘ who have tractored composted llama ‘pooh’ to my garden this spring and helped me ‘network’ with other local farmers for supplies . They have offered many invitations over the years to visit their farm or join them in “spinning “[fiber] sessions . Thanks to my friend , ‘at my work away from home’, who came to my rescue ,without hesitance and with a friend , to help erect 330′ of heavy duty goat fence . His size and strength made it possible for this busted man to get the job done ,and his personality and friendship made the task fun and heartfelt . The day turned into a wonderful event , the likes of which this place has never seen before ! Thanks to those wonderful people that I have met on craigslist , either for purchases or to pick up free materials to use on the farm . I have heard of many bad experiences from craigslist but have encountered many friendly and generous people . Faces and conversations still come to mind when I use the materials they have generously given for repurpose . My association with people has made my life richer . It has given me a sense of community that I never felt before . My thanks goes out to friends at work who have offered good thoughts and words of encouragement , and to those who have appreciated my work and trusted in me enough to visit my farm and make purchase . One particular days’ transaction turned , I believe , a friendly aquaintance into two new friends . Of course , as always , my deepest thanks and devotion to my family . Their love and support ,in all it’s manifestations , are what keep this man from being an ” island ‘ and allow me to express my ‘self’ .
Friends and Thanks given