Not sure how to start this, and I’m not sure what sort of things I will say, with the song “Hymn to the Red October” in the background, it might turn out a little dark. But I guess this is a good time to think about my life, to commemorate my birthday.
My mother asked me not to make it a political tirade, but I’d like to explore how my political beliefs fit into the big picture. So bear with me, please.
Most of my growing up years were spent on our family farm. I think this has led me to respect property, to value the ownership of property much more than if we lived on a tiny plot in the city, or moved from house to house. My family has owned the farm since 1942. It is “our” land, and I feel a sort of connection with it. This ownership feeling isn’t something to relinquish easily. If our land is ever threatened, I won’t give in without a fight.
Another theme of my growing up years has been independence. I pretty much self-taught myself through highschool (with the exception of algebra!), and I learned how to make goals and reach those goals on my own. I couldn’t blame anyone else for my failures, if I played hooky and cut corners with my education, it would be my fault, and I’d be the only one to suffer with the consequences.
I’ve gained tremendous experience working in the political arena. But in the last few months, I’ve realized there’s is so much more to liberty than just going to Tea Parties and Townhalls and working on political campaigns. Liberty is a way of life. It encompasses all that you do. Although I hated writing when I was younger, I’ve grown to enjoy it. In the last year, I had to put creative writing aside to work on other projects. But recently I’ve turned back to it. Why? Because fiction writing is just as good a way to spread the message of liberty as anything. This idea gives all of us enormous freedom to live out liberty the way that works for us. Not everyone can tour the country in a motor home like some of my friends. Not everyone is going to run for office like other people I know. Not everyone is going to promote liberty by writing a novel like Ayn Rand did. Everyone is different, and our methods will be different, but the message will be the same.
Okay, I think I’ve gone on enough about that. Some of my childhood memories?
Before I realized that all modern wars are just rackets, I played WWII in the trenches dug out in our barnyard. The trenches were dug for a new septic system….but before they could get to that, I had an afternoon to pretend I was a soldier in WWII.
And the chickens…ahhh…someone in our family had the crazy idea of buying and raising chickens. I probably went along with it until I ended up being the one to feed them…and chase them inside the barn every night. I’m still convinced that chickens are evil creatures full of malevolent intent, and any benefits (fried chicken? scrambled eggs?) is a sheer coincidence. The year all their feathers fell off was especially bad. Their wicked beady eyes are bad enough…but when they don’t have any feathers either, that gets pretty disgusting.
When I was younger, we would do a yearly controlled-burn of our grassy/prairie area of the farm, and I loved it. I guess I’ve always been a “firebug.” The hotter and bigger the flames, the better. Now we have a wood-burning furnace and believe me, I like to keep that thing stoked, just for the fun of it. 🙂
So I guess, since I enjoyed the freedom to play, learn, grow, and discover, it is no wonder liberty is so important to me now.