Pelican Prose Thoughts from a Pelican: Louisiana Boy Sat, 17 Oct 2020 19:23:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Pelican Prose 32 32 179132543 We’ve lost our “community” Sat, 17 Oct 2020 19:23:01 +0000 The mere fact that I am a “truck driver” had me voting, early, today as I will be out of the area for November 3.  I have not missed an election since my eighteen(18) birthday.  I believe that voting is a “civic responsibility” and should be undertaking seriously at every election. There is never a point that any election is too small or insignificant: local only to national they all need input from the local citizen.

Let me set the scene.  My local early polling location has extended the available hours to 8am to 7pm for 10 days.  I decided to be early and arrive at 7am and sure glad I did as my place in line was one and a half city block from the entrance.  There I stood and after time to reflect on the day, say a prayer, and a rosary (as a devout practicing catholic this is important to me), I became engaged in conversation with the gentleman in line behind me.  We did not discuss politics in the sense of this election; however, we discuss today’s society.  As life deals you cards for your hand, play with the hand dealt.  This gentleman and I are of the similar age group and looking at us this would probably be the only shared commonality.

FATE you might say stepped in as he shared with me some of his “life story” and we now share the fact the we have both buried children: 451 days ago he lost his son and  he commented almost as ashamed of his recollection of the days (his friends think he should not be so attentive of the details).  I reassured him that “details are important to keeping the memory of a loved one alive, present, and active. You see I lost a son 2526 days ago and another son 2443 days ago, by the way that was almost seven(7) years ago. Not a day goes by that they are not part of my day.”  With this simple statement we have a bond.  He became interested in my thoughts of our society.

“People are good as a whole and a rule; there are bad and/or misguided, of course.”  I continued with, “we’ve lost our “community”.  Now do not be short sited with this.  Community is the area/neighborhood in which we live, true enough. However, it is more than that.  It is also a state of mind or even better stated: a GROUP of PEOPLE with SHARE or COMMON INTEREST: the conversation between him and I is the basis of community.  The overall “shared and/or common interest” is the best for people, neighbors, and country.  People disagree mostly on how to get there, but not on getting there.

I like to think of and explain politics more like a vehicle. The destination for most Americans is the same, in general: a safe, free country for chase and fulfill our dreams.  Politics, how to get there.  Allow your neighbor to be your friend, he probably drives a different vehicle than you: make, model, color.  Share with people and let us get back our “community”.  We can be friends with strangers.  Each of us has something to offer: kind words, words of encouragement, a smile of joy, a consoling smile, etc.  If we sell our neighbors short we are actually selling ourselves short: we’ve cheated ourselves as much as we have denied them.

As we near the door, I expressed my sincerity for a very engaging and enlightening conversation. We finally introduced ourselves and he is a candidate for the City Marshall’s position.  I believe that we shared, enlightened, and consoled each other    and we shall both be better for it. I am grateful for the people and experiences that found in my path. 

Finally, do not live life with regrets. Smile and/or greet a stranger. Assist a friend, neighbor, or friend-to-be. Make memories and happy thoughts.

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Split Second, Every decision has multiple impacts Sun, 20 Sep 2020 22:50:58 +0000  What happens in a “split second” often has an impact on your immediate and distant future.  As a “professional truck driver”, it is easy for me to relate events that I see and/or experience on the road to the broader meaning of life.  Take this moment as an example:  I am traveling along a very curvy LA highway, it is a two lane and winds down through the swamp, over and around bayous.  Key point to remember: if there is a shoulder (in this case NONE), it is soft; especially because of the current rain and the previous storms.  My cargo is 1) liquid, which moves naturally to level and if the trailer leans the liquid move with it and is not centered, 2) oh yes, it is flammable, 3) it is a lightly raining and has been for an hour or so.  As I am exiting a right-hand curve and preparing for the upcoming left-hand curve, an oncoming truck is coming through the same series of curves in reverse.  Oh look, he is wheels over the center dividing line: What to do what to do? First – Do not panic, ease off the accelerator and hug the fog line(that white line to assist you to know where the edge of your lane and the road is). Now trust (and hope) the other driver, his is a professional also, realizes his situation and also eases off the speed and pulls his rig back into his lane.  If not you are prepared for a bump and should not loose control and can maintain your vehicle through any disruption (you know collision).


Sure enough you pass each other, key up you cb radio and say, “Well done driver, well done.   See you on the other end.”

How does this relate to “REAL LIFE”?  Simple. Throughout each day you have moments of time that added together make up your day, week, month, year, and life.  How we react to each little moment affects the next as well as other people around us.  

Sit back and think for a moment.  Your last moment of “crisis“, how important was it in the scheme of the day; more importantly, has impactful was it in the outcome of the year.  Some are drastically important with life-altering consequences; however, most are really not that imperative.  I spend a lot of time during my day observing and going through “what if’s”.  This cuts out the hesitation of reaction in a given circumstance.  I do this not driving but throughout my day; I do not like surprises; therefore, I have built up some situational awareness.

We can exercise this method in all aspects of our lives.  I even challenge that it would decrease some of the anger and hatred which our country is experiencing.  Be present in the moment and stay in self control mode.  The next/other person would also be present in his moment and then maybe we will not react and judge too quickly, but stay composed and controlled.

We should not be consumed with “blame and fault” but with “compassion and understanding”.  If I spend my time concerned with being responsible for my actions and well-being, I have less time to worry about your responsibilities.  Try it, give a stranger a “Howdy” and friendly nod and/or wave. Politeness and courtesy are contagious.  You might the the one person that makes a huge impact on someone and change their day from bad to good.

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Slow to Judge Tue, 11 Aug 2020 14:06:19 +0000 So it has been said that everyone’s life is a story.  We even hear some people state that their life is an “open book”.  Give this a thought for just a moment.  Even if someone’s life is a open book, there are aspects that is not now.  Even moments in time that have been overlooked and/or forgotten.  

Think about about it for a moment:  Some of your closest friends or relatives, are there not moment or aspects that you do not know about.  These are not necessarily secrets as they just have not be shared for one reason or another.  Each of us have secrets, thoughts and even events that we have not shared with anyone much less everyone.  It is not that we are hiding as much as we are not publicizing.  The occasion just has not arisen that prompts the sharing, or maybe we are slightly embarrassed or even for heaven’s sake we might be ashamed to divulge such information.

As a rule, I am a private person; however, more than that is I am “guarded”.  I am cautious to protect my friends and loved ones.  Most stories or incidences included other people and sharing might infringe on their privacy or emotions.  

If we are a private person or even guarded for self or others, what about the next person.  Umm, did think of that did we.  With this thought in mind, maybe we should be slow to judge peoples actions or inaction.  This would include the actions of conversation or sharing of ones thoughts.  Maybe we do not know the “whole” story or the “back” story.  What has this person been through or is going through?

How many times have we thought or even stated, “I would do …”, “I would not have done it that way.”, or judged someone.  Honestly, “Do you know their story?” Nope, nope, nope, not in its entirety.  Each of us have a very distinct set of “live experiences” that make up who we are.  Do to this we each think, act, and react differently.

Maybe next time before we judge someone’s action or comment; pause, take a breathe, give an honest thought to the situation.  Then act or react.

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Drive Aware, Be Safe Mon, 20 Jul 2020 22:29:35 +0000 Everyone on the roadways of America needs to stay aware.  Keep informed of your surroundings.  A friend and fellow driver shared this clip of a very close call and almost fatal incident. He was traveling loaded with Liquified Petroleum on I-10 through a construction zone.  Been an experienced and seasoned driver, he was staying aware of his surroundings and ready for things to happen and very possibly go wrong/sideways.  We try to anticipate careless acts around us; he approached and entrance ramp with merging traffic and was slowing as a car was creeping toward the travel lane.  However, the second vehicle jumps the lane and stops.  Correct, STOPPED! the second vehicle pulled into the travel lane and stopped as to allow the vehicle ahead of him to move into the travel lane.  The truck driver was able to slow and change lanes enough to miss this vehicle and just ahead of a vehicle in the lane to his left. Not to be outdone, the vehicle in the left lane, now behind him, chanced a pass utilizing the left shoulder instead of slowing.  Don’t take chances, drive aware, and a small amount of “courteous driving” could be just what we need to each arrive to our destination safely.

#DriveAware #DriveSafe



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RoadTrip 2020 Done Wed, 15 Jul 2020 23:13:29 +0000 Well, RoadTrip 2020 has officially come to an end: check that box, close that book.  We have completed the trip to DFW and placed my GrandGirls onto their flight back home.

We had the absolute best time entertaining (or being entertained; not sure which) my older two grandchildren.  Our RoadTrip went as perfectly as possible; memories made! Twenty-one (21) days including the ten (10) day road adventure of ten (10) states, three thousand five hundred sixty (3560) miles, and multiple sites and places observed and/or explored. 

Now brainstorming and planning has begun for next year.  How to top this; it’s coming.

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Day Eight: Homebound however Terry Bison Ranch is a Must see Wed, 08 Jul 2020 00:33:52 +0000 We arrived to the Terry Bison Ranch on Monday evening.  Just in time to set up for the night and enjoy fabulous Bison meat supper.  Clean up and rest up for a short day of Buffalo/Bison Ranch life.

Sure enough, up for breakfast at the “Tombstone Cafe“; WOW the Southwest Bison Omellet! Southwest Bison Omelet  Then over to the “Terry Bison Express” and the bison tours: short open-air train ride through the pasture and a chance to feed the bison their favorite treats. Be warned they love these treats, slobber a lot, and have a long tongue (about 10″).  

All Aboard the Terry Bison Express    Feeding the Herd Mammaw  

Then let’s saddle up for a trail ride across and up the hills of the pastures.Trail Ride Ready Lynzi & Camryn




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Day Seven: Onto Yellowstone Mon, 06 Jul 2020 23:16:46 +0000 After a good night of Food, Family GameTime, S’mores, and Rest; it is onto Yellowstone National Park.  The drive from Mount Rushmore to Yellowstone is full of beautiful sights.  After navigating the so very many turns and turns and hills, enjoying the sights with a few stops to appreciate the beauty, we arrive to Yellowstone National Park.

Game TimeSign

As if my travels are not complete enough with my current troupe; my daughter meets up with us for this brief leg of our trip. We set up our campsite (disappointment as we are on the side of the road and not allowed to utilize our  generator after 8pm therefore limited on game time and lighting) enjoy supper, conversation, and Family Game Time.

Morning arrives; cleanup done, jack stands up, time to explore the sights and go see the geyser, Old Faithful.  

This is quite a site to see, amazing!!!  We enjoyed breakfast at the site and then time to drive again.

There are many sites to be seen.  Steam Pool are around the area, this one is at the side of Yellowstone Lake.

Once the sights have been visited, it is time to drive onto our next adventure, Terry Bison Ranch and towards home.

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Day Six: Mount Rushmore; Check that box Sat, 04 Jul 2020 11:51:37 +0000 Up the mountain and to the Mount Rushmore Monument.  Not only did get to enjoy the sites of the amazing feat of the carving in the mountain side; there is a nice “Presidential Trail”, amphitheater with today’s entertainment of a son of two(2) Indian Chief’s.  He told stories of days past; including through music which he called the “Universal language.  Informing us that the flute and the drum are both instruments found on every continent.  He even included the use of the electric guitar.  Walking through the Gallery, museum, and theater; we learn more of the history of how the carving was done from the nine(9) 1/12 models built by Gutzon Borglum onto the scaffolding, wenches and other tools and methods.

Back into town we visit the “Keystone School House and Museum”, which was used from 1901 with 158 students in the first years classes and until 1988 with 8 students enrolled.  Included is the original “One Room Schoolhouse” and many photographs which are on loan from original founding families.

Down the street, we enjoyed and excellent meal of elk burgers and onion rings at the Big Thunder  Restaurant.  This also included an opportunity to rest for a brief spell.

Following up on so much walking, sightseeing, and information, we took a leisurely drive through the countryside.

Arriving back to the campground, time to clean up, prepare and eat supper.  Good time to sit around visit, discuss the days events, enjoy a cup of coffee and the what camp out experience can go with S’mores; not this one.  Time for a campfire and s’mores.

Off to bed, for tomorrow will come and bring more adventure.

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Day Five: Good Morning South Dakota Fri, 03 Jul 2020 11:48:55 +0000 After a good nights rest, up for cleaning and breakfast.  We heading into Keystone for some panning for gold at the Big Thunder Gold Mine. There was a tour of the mine and very informative session of the process of separating the gold from the rest of the rock and ore. And then to panning on our own.  The process is tedious and time consuming; it requires a lot of patience.  We panned for approximately an hour and achieved a few “tiny nuggets.”  However, the experience was enlightening and to say the least interesting.

Next up, we adventured to the “Crazy Horse Monument”.  This monument is privately funded.  The model was built by and the carving  started by Korczak Ziolkowski; his family is continuing his work.  The carving is just a part, largely however, of the entire complex.  Included is a Native American University, museum of the carving history and artifacts, Native American artifacts, history, stories, and continuing expositions of Native Culture.  Lunch at the “Laughing Water Restaurant” was excellent, as included in the menu are Indian based meals including stew, bread, and such.  They are keeping the history of the Native American Indians in the forefront and ensuring that the memories of Crazy Horse active and alive.

Continuing to be adventurous, we next explored the “Wonderland Caverns”.  This is a nature cave founded in 1929 and explored by two(2) brothers in the search of gold; difficult actually impossible to find in limestone.  Not to be discouraged the discovered many natural phenomena’s in rock underground rock formations, stalactites and stalagmites and others.  Once entering the cave and gazing around listening to our tour guide information and history, down the steps. Well not just down, but down, down, down one hundred fifty (150) steep stair steps. Nature is quite amazing.

Back to the campground for supper, rest, and you guest it game time.  Don’t let me forget to mention the lightening storm which included hail, no major damage.

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Day Four: Last Leg to Rushmore Thu, 02 Jul 2020 11:45:40 +0000 Start the day with the sites of Gothenburg, NE. Of course there is too much to fit into our brief morning adventures, we just enjoyed another “Pony Express Station” and a “Sod House”(just purchased by to local businesses men and ready for restoration).  Nonetheless, it is still very interesting accompanied by the “Barbed-Wire Sculptures” that were from a non gone barbed-wire manufacturer.

Back on the road, west then north.  Enjoyable drive through the hills/mountains including the “Black Hills”.  Crossing finally into South Dakota and continuing on.  Through Custer, SD and passing the “Crazy Horse Monument“; we’ll be back, finally to our resting place at the KOA near Mount Rushmore.  Set up is accomplished and time to relax.  A good cup of coffee, family conversation, and even time for leisure stroll around the area.  Of course we do not miss out on supper and then “family game time”.  Off to bed and better rest up for tomorrow is a lot less driving and a lot more walking.

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