Sunday, August 12, 2007

My Birthday

I turned 43 today and I don't seem any older. It seems like I should not be that old. It seems like I should still be in my 20s with Madonna dominating the pop music scene just like in the '80s. I am thankful many people do remember my birthday; such as friends and my church family. Other than my father, I haven't heard a word from my real family. They did remember, but never bothered to call. I forgive them, because they have become satellites circling around my world. If I didn't wish them a happy birthday, I should have seen it coming. So, the next time they do have a birthday, I will call them and wish them or send them a birthday card. Many people do care after all, right when I start to believe that many people were not caring and right when I start to wonder if it is better to be around animals at a zoo than to be around people. I am thankful that there are people who do turn it around for me and start bringing me back to where I need to be. I seem to have no enemies now, except for Satan, Lucifer, or Iblis, or whatever the devil calls himself nowadays. I pray that he and his demons or shayatin stays away from me, family, friends, and relatives. I pray this everyday and every night when I go to bed. It surprises me that I have lived this long. I never had any near-death experiences, but back in 1990, I wrecked my old Datsun driving down a slippery, icy I-40 going west from exit 81 in Russellville. I believed I could have died that day, but God saved my life that day and reminded me of the mistake I made by not staying put at John's place in Conway until the weather cleared up. I sent Neal home to Dover that day despite of the bad weather. Then, I was driving home and I hit a bridge and wrecked my car. It was stupid of me to try to make it home in icy, winter conditions. I had to get my car towed home in a later time. My father had to come get me and drive me home. From that time on, I vowed never to drive on icy roads again even if I risk losing my job because of the roads. Unlike the folks up north, there are not enough trucks out there to help clear the streets. If there is more than an inch of snow outside, people panic and like me, they don't drive very well on icy streets and unlike me, they don't take care and slow down; something I did not do back in 1990. Hey, like I said, I could have died.
That is how close I came to death.

Now at 43, I am more wiser and I believe that religion has help me be more wiser. I am a Christian. I read the Bible. I also read the Qur'an and all of these things helped get closer to God. I drive a Hyundai Santa Fe and there is no way I will drive that car on dangerous, icy conditions. I have classmates from high school who may show off their Lexus, or their house in the best part of town, but all of these things to me are material. They see that I drive an average car, but it runs good and it had good gas mileage, and no, I don't live in the best part of town. I don't care to live the under the dictatorship of some Homeowners' Association. When you die, you can't take it with you. I guess that's all for now. From time to time, I will jot down various passages of scriptures from the Bible and sometimes from the Qur'an.

Bismillah Arrahman Arraheem
"Alif Lam Mim. ( Allah) God. (La ilaha illa Huwa) There is no god but He - the Living, the Self-Subsisting, Eternal. It is He Who sent down to thee step by step, in truth, the Book, confirming what was sent before it; and He sent down the Law of Moses and the Gospel of Jesus before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion of judgment between right and wrong. Then those who reject Faith in the Signs of God will suffer the severest penalty, and God is Exalted in Might, Lord of Retribution." Sura 3 The Family of Imran: 1-4.

"Praise ye Yah, give ye thanks to Yahvah, for he is good, forever is His lovingkindness." Psalm 106:1 Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible.

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Ozark Folk Center

One of the best places to visit in Arkansas is the Ozark Folk Center which is now a state park. It is a place dedicated to the preservation of traditional arts and crafts and Ozark Mountain music. It also has classes at the Center where one can learn how to play a musical instrument such as the Dulcimer or the Fiddle or learn the various arts and crafts such as painting, basket-weaving, doll-making, making pottery, and others. This place shares the story of the Ozark Mountain way of life which bred a rugged, independent, religious, joyful people who survived hardships in the pioneer days by their native wit and wisdom. There are many different exhibits you can visit and also enjoy good bluegrass music.Visitors can see presentations and demonstrations of the Ozark crafts and music, living history enactments and other special events. You get a chance to meet a lot of good people. There is more I can put down about it, but I will not give it away and I will not copy word for word the brochure from the Arkansas Dept. of Parks and Tourism. This is the place you must go if you visit Arkansas. It is not to say that the Clinton Presidential Library is not as important, but really to get to know a little bit about Arkansas' cultural heritage, the Ozark Folk Center near Mountain View is a must-see. Of course, Arkansas is a wonderful place to travel even if you live here. Where is Mountain View? It is south from Mountain Home. It is also south from Calico Rock. It is north from Shirley. It is west from Batesville. It may be less than 100 miles north from Little Rock. It is located in Stone County and it is a dry county, so no alcoholic beverages will be served anywhere; it won't be served at the Skillet Restaurant nearby the Center. If you want to drink, you may need to stay in Mountain Home. I visited this place recently and there is now a lot more to see and do in this park. They add a few more things to this park than the last time I visited it, which must have back in 1997; 10 years ago. The restaurant was added. I don't remember eating at the Skillet Restaurant back then. But, I ate lunch there this time and the food is excellent. It is a good thing. You can now eat lunch in your own time and then, come back to the park and visit more exhibits. Well, I guess I will end this briefing for now. I'll back to write another addition to this dribble.