LOOKIN BACK

Here we are the end of the year. At this point in time many of us take time to reflect on the past year. What did we do? What happened? Are things better that they were? Where am I going?
Well I guess I’m no different. When I was a kid, I never looked back to see what I’d done or how I’d effected things. But now I’m a little longer in the tooth(those remaining) and my whiskers aren’t the same color they were a few years ago, I tend to look back and wonder how I effected things and how will the world remember me?
I hope my customers have remembered me as a person who cares about their horses like they were mine. I’ve tried to give the best service I know how and be as honest as I can when dealing with them and their loved ones (horses). I’ve always tried to be on time and do the best job I know how. I always hope I put the ethics of the job first. Sometimes I’ve had a customer ask me my advice and I’m a little reluctant to give because I look at horses different than most here, but I try to remember it’s for the horse I’m doing my best.
I’ve never had kids. It was pretty much my choice. I enjoy kids, but I figured my life was too unsecure to have kids. I understand the commitment kids bring and I never felt I could do that because of my jobs at the time, I wasn’t settle down enough. I know lots of people have told me well you change once you have kids, but that was the problem- I didn’t want to change my life. So I’ve made the decision and now at 58 there’s really no going back. But I have wondered what do I leave behind and to whom?
I kind of wanted to leave something behind so maybe someday in the future someone might say, “Oh so that’s who he was”. I guess that’s one reason I got into doing some writing. I self published GUIDE’S LIFE and THOUGHTS OF A CRAZY OLD MAN. It takes a little pile of money to do this and somehow I did. These two tell a story of my life and this some type of legacy is remaining for all the world to read, if they want. I don’t pretend to be some famous author and chances of being one are in line with winning the lottery, but I can now say I’ve got two books published. And you know what – IT WAS FUN!!! If you want to take a peek here ya go: http://beslagsmed.wix.com/mikelwdawson
This past year told me I not getting any younger and time is flying by. In July I went home to Greenleaf, Idaho and attended my class’ 40th reunion. It was really fun to see my classmates and have a great time with them. We got to talk and learn how and where our lives have taken each one of us. After we were together all the time I soon learned we hadn’t changed that much inside, it was the outside change I’m guess we all noticed. It was really fun to see the younger side in all of us come out.
So as I am doing the reminiscing thing here at the end of the year, I guess there’s only one real question we need to ask of ourselves: Have you been true to yourself? Sitting back and reflecting on this for a bit, for myself I can answer yes. And I guess that’s the most important part about reflection.

NEW HOLIDAY

Today, 21 December I declare a Holiday! This is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. Do you realize everything is uphill from here!
When I moved to Denmark from Idaho I learned a whole new meaning to short winter days and long winter nights. Where I was in Idaho I was around 45 degrees north, here in Denmark I am around 55 degrees north. Those ten degrees really make a big difference. I’d be working along and my body would begin to get that end of the day feeling, I’d look at the clock in my van, holy cow, it’s only 1430 (2 p.m. for all you civilian types)! I still had half the afternoon to work but I’d have to really push myself to work. Also that first winter I learned if I didn’t have plenty of good lights with me I couldn’t work. Most the places I’d drive to had crappy lighting or it was placed wrong for me to work.
I began to understand how people could get depressed in the winter time. I’ve heard stories of people more north of me, up where it is dark for many months of the year, they have real problems with drinking and such. Even here on a cloudy day it is dark. I mean I have to really work to make myself work. One thing I’ve found is here in the winter time I’ve started to take vitamin D. We get most of our vitamin D from the sunlight, so I’m guessing this has had an effect on me. Amazingly enough I started to feel better after I began to take it.
But the biggest boost I get in the winter time is 21 December, the shortest day of the year. Why, because after the twenty-first things start to change. I know it’s a slow change and it can’t really be seen or felt much until around the first of February, but it’s just the thought of getting those few extra minutes and seconds of the day that’s a great boost to me. I know 21 June is the longest day of the year and we’re on the downhill run, but there doesn’t seem to be the same effect. Must be due to the summer time, vacations, colors, warmth of the sun. Fall you can really feel the changing of the seasons, the colors and everything around seems so alive. But winter time is cold, wet, dark, damp, hum-drum. Guess that’s what makes the winter effect so bad here.
I remember winters in Idaho, I really enjoyed them. I trapped in the winter time, there was cross country skiing, heading out for one of the outdoor natural hot springs to set in, a million things to do, but here there’s just nothing really the same. Just dark, damp and dark.
So starting about the first of November I always begin to psyche myself up to get over the winter hump. I make 21 December a special day, a day to look forward to, a day to celebrate! The best thing is it comes next to Christmas time, so I will make myself a nice cup of Gløgg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulled_wine), sit back and enjoy a nice afternoon. This is one of the good things I’ve found in Denmark in the winter time. It’s great when not too hot, not too cool, just right!
So like I said, today, 21 December is a Holiday. If you got to work, just take the day off and tell your boss I said it was ok! Stay at home, make a nice cup of gløgg and relax and know that the nice warmth of spring is just around the corner!

WRITING BOOKS

I’ve had a lot of fun writing. I really never thought of myself as an author, but my cousin Jene thought I had it in me after reading something I began. After reading it she hounded me for about a month until I got started writing for real and the book GUIDE’S LIFE was born.
After writing GUIDE’S LIFE I found my brain soon began to fill with thoughts, thoughts about everyday things and how we went about life and such, so I started to write these thoughts down. Soon another book started to take shape and the way it was going what better name for it than THOUGHTS OF A CRAZY OLD MAN. It was a fun book to write. I covered many topics of everyday life like; coffee, instant coffee, women, politics, religion. I even found room for a chapter on toilet paper! Jene told me I had at least five books in me and so I’m in the mood to prove her right.
One thing this writing bit is tough. If I’d known it was so hard I sometimes wonder if I’d continued to do it. Getting my books published is a horse of a different color. To find a publisher today to take on an unknown guy like me is almost impossible, so I went with the self- published route. I got my two books published, but it is not cheap. One thing for sure, I’ll not give up my day job!
With today’s available media at our finger tips, internet, social media, blogs and such, I’ve been trying to promote my books this way, but in the end it takes money to get it done. I had my two books put into e-book format. At first I wasn’t going to, but I had a couple people asked me when they’d be available in e-book, so I did. I’m glad because there are a few more people who have enjoyed them.
I’ve now discovered another outlet for my writing is this blog. It cost me a little bit to get this site set up, but this is fun. It’s more of an enjoyable hobby for me now. Before I moved to Denmark I hunted and was on my horses all the time. Denmark is nothing like Idaho, but I have changed and adapted to another way of life. I now work in my shop making a few things in iron. Playing in the fire is great. Because of Jene I’ve also found my writing ability. The other day I received an e-mail from a man who said I had a great way of writing. It was easy and fun to read. My brother also commented that reading my books was just like talking to me as I wrote the same way I talk. One thing about my books is there is nothing to remember. GUIDE’S LIFE is written in three parts. Each part is like a book in itself. THOUGHTS OF A CRAZY OLD MAN is a bunch of short stories. What I call mindless, senseless entertainment – meaning the only things you have to do is sit down with something nice to drink, throw on the reading glasses if you need them, relax and enjoy.
I’m going to continue writing as I feel it is a great way to express myself. I really don’t know how much I will contribute to society with the things I write, but I am going to have fun doing it. If you feel the need to investigate my work please take a look at the links provided. You can also go to Facebook and look at some pictures I posted about my book GUIDE’S LIFE, and THOUGHTS OF A CRAZY OLD MAN. One thing I believe is books are here to stay! I maybe old school, but I feel reading is and always will be something many people enjoy and are always searching for something good to read.
As we are coming to the New Year I hope many more of you will pick up something to read and I hope one of those books will be one of mine.

http://beslagsmed.wix.com/mikelwdawson

https://www.facebook.com/GuidesLife?ref=ts&fref=ts

CHRISTMAS

Here we are Christmas time. As I’ve gotten older it seems like Christmas has slowly disappeared. I’ve grown to hate the commercialization of the season which is suppose to mean so much to us. Maybe it was the little gift one of my customers gave me. It is a small bucket with a candle in the middle surrounded by a wreath. Every night I come home from work I light the candle and really enjoy it.
I’ve thought a lot about past Christmas times I’ve had. I really only remember one present, that was a BB gun I received. It was in the style of a .30 caliber carbine and it had some poop behind it! The rest of my Christmas memories are of family and times I’ve had.
I grew up in the church and Christmas time was always special. I was always part of the Christmas play at church. It had meaning to me and still does. It somehow, looking back gives me a smile on my face and a peace of mind.
The other main thing about Christmas I remember is FAMILY. We always had Christmas dinner and Mom was a great cook. She’d get up early to stuff the turkey and get the meal started. In the weeks before she’d be making cookies, pies and the always famous fruit cake. I loved her fruit cake. She had one special pie she made, it was mince meat, made from deer or elk meat, Fantastic.
We always had other family members with us. My Mom’s relatives from California would come some years, they had two kids and we had a great time. Many years my Aunt Meta was with us. She was a real card. I loved her very much. When Aunt Meta was with us, after the big dinner was done we’d sit around and play pinochle. We’d have so much fun. Also many years Aunt Marguerite would be with us and she love to play as well. She was also a great painter of pottery. My brother has may piece she painted for my mom.
After my brother and I got older, Christmas morning we’d head out and go duck hunting. We loved to duck hunt, but always had to cut this day short so we could be home in time for Christmas dinner.
Christmas was a golden time. A time to be with friends and family. A time to reflect on the past year. A time to think about the gifts God had blessed us with. It was a very special time and still is.
Now I’m married and my wife and I don’t buy presents for each other. If we want something we just buy it. Christmas, my wife fixes a great meal and we enjoy the quite time we have. It’s the end of the year and we get time to reflect on things. We have our Christmas tree up, it’s not big, but it’s just right for us. Two years ago I got to celebrate a late Christmas with my brother and his family. It was great since I hadn’t spent a Christmas with them in over twenty years.
In between I’ve spent Christmas time with my Brother/Sisters – in- arms, deployed somewhere in the world. These have been golden times and I treasure each and every memory.
How many times have I put the importance in Christmas presents?