Showing posts from October, 2009

What Scares You

I don't go into haunted houses anymore, not the commercial kind at least. It's unfortunate in one sense because I love to see the special effects, the makeup and the creativity. Spooky stuff is fun. When it comes to movies, I've always liked the classic monsters and have a particular fondness for werewolves. Though I've never cared for the simple blood-and-gore slasher sort, a suspenseful, truly creepy horror film is a delight that can prompt spontaneous shivers for weeks. I'll even take a little gore if the context is worth it, as in the case of the comedic horror movies that spoof our traditional fare. So, why avoid the seasonal treat of a trip through a haunted house?

We'll start the explanation with a story. I guess I might have been about ten years old, sitting on a bench swing in the yard with my older sister. It was a late summer night and as dark and quiet as a secluded community with only a handful of street lights gets. The moon was full but v…

Roughing It

There is a certain amount of security and comfort in doing things the hard way. That may seem counter intuitive, but it's true.
Nobody likes trouble, and humankind is known for going to great lengths to make their lives easier. The easy way has its obvious attractions: less work, fewer problems, quicker rewards. Still, troubles will come your way unbidden from time to time, regardless of your choosing the easy road. Every person must deal with hardships at some point. Occasionally choosing to rough it prepares you for the unexpected and gives you peace of mind knowing that you are capable of handling those troubles.

There is often satisfaction in taking on a difficult goal and working to the solution. People do puzzles and read mysteries for just that reason. Human beings need to be challenged to be happy. Yet, I'm still faced with quizzical looks when I choose a tougher path.

Several years ago, I spent a week of vacation building a large terraced planter in the far corn…