TIED TO THE WHIPPING POST

Hello everyone, everywhere,

Last week was crazy for me. I’m back in the band. That’s good. But my great friend Mr. Terrence Delaney, the first bass player for Soulful Noize, has left the band to move to Calgary. Over the years I was hard on Terrence because I wanted him to be like me, but I’ve realized that I can only control myself. Terrence is Terrence, (and that’s great because I think one of me is more than enough). I know that I’m a better man for knowing Terrence. He tried–the best way that he could–to teach me how to slow down. I should have listened more, but I listened enough. This time, I’ll make it work, Terrence. For the both of us.  And I’ll always be looking in that corner for you.

Now on to the whipping post. Because I’m now on medical pot I had to go to Edmonton Friday night to see a new doctor at the clinic so I could get my order adjusted. Within one minute of meeting this guy, I was on the defensive. Had I been alone I’d have been thrown out of the clinic, but thankfully I had Michelle with me and she helped me to keep quiet. And luckily my doctor in Red Deer had written a strong recommendation for me, so I finally got what I came for. After that visit, I was reminded of my favourite Allman Brothers’ song, Whipping Post.

And now it’s time to close your eyes and your thoughts, if only for a moment…and rest. And now, I’m taking you on a dark ride with…

THE TORTURED MAN

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He’s walked the road so many miles. He’s laughed, and cried, and faked a million smiles. The road gets colder as he finds himself getting older. And the reasons–they get older with him.

Once, a long time ago, the tortured man thought he had it all figured out. But when you’re eleven years old you don’t really have it figured out. So he spent his life with one foot on the ground and the other foot ready to go. He became a travelling man. He couldn’t sit still. His friends became like the colours of the leaves as the seasons passed. He’d watch them come and go–and that’s when he knew to come and go.

There is no rhyme or reason to how this man came to be where he is. One day he looked in the mirror and saw that he was getting old, and everybody was gone. And there was just nowhere for him to go. So the tortured man did what he always does. Packed up his roll and started walking.

That’s all.

(NEVER EVER GIVE UP)

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By jamesghutcheson

I CAN BEND BUT I CAN NEVER BREAK

Hello everyone, everywhere,

This week has been rather intense for me. I just got cleared by the doctor for the sprained leg and arm that I’ve had terrible trouble with for the past couple months. It’s been a complete torture test between me walking and stretching and my therapists killing me while they try to make me better.

On another note, Michelle has a new business called PelikanBox. It involves sending care packages for kids who are away at school. I’m so proud of her. She already got her first review and it’s a good one.

Dean’s doing well; he’s back teaching again and having a good year so far. I call him The Teach. Last week he got my dishwasher going. Thank you, Dean! I made him barbequed burgers and gave him a cold Coke and he was pretty darn happy with the whole situation. As was I.

And Grandma’s doing her exercises every day. God bless her.

Okay, that’s enough fun for now…I don’t think so! But before we get to this story, you know what time it is.

And now it’s time to close our eyes and our thoughts, if only for a moment…and rest.

With a grin and a scuff of my boot, may I present…

SAM SNIBBLE HAS QUITE A DAY

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Henry Snibble is by all accounts a good guy. His son Sam would say, “I like him all right. It’s the chores thing that flips, spins, and steps on my hat. But he’s in charge. Personally, I believe that when my dad says that to my mom, it’s code for something because every time he says it she laughs until tears run down her face.”

On to Sam’s day. The sun was warm and the trees, sadly, gave their leaves to the ground. That did not help Sam Snibble. His father had plans for him which were plainly not what Sam had planned, but he could only sigh and pick up the rake.

Young Sam tried to look busy, and folks, trying was the best that boy seemed to be able to do. Then he heard the sweet sound of the crack of the bat. Down the street, maybe two good gobs and throw a stick and you’re there, were the boys playing ball.

There was obviously a struggle going on in Sam’s mind: rake or play?

As he started putting piles of leaves together, all of a sudden Sam froze in his… well…you guys get it, right? It doesn’t matter. Sam saw what will forever be known as the magic leaves. As a bright eleven-year-old, would you investigate that the leaf piles are fighting back? No! No, you do not do that. You go get the boys from down the street.

“Hey, guys, I need you quick! My leaves are magic”, Sam Sibble yelled. All the boys ran to the leaves. The plan was now hatching for Sam.

The guys huddled together. They were peroooven (that’s thinking talk) about what to do if the leaves jumped again. And then it happened. First like a worm slithering under the leaves.Then once again, like magic, another pile moved. At that point, Sam’s plan for help raking was going bust fast.

The nine-year olds took off running, followed quickly by the ten-year olds. The two eleven-year-olds saw all the raking that had to be done so they both chirped up, “We’d like to stay, but you see we cannot rake leaves that move on their own.”

Sam looked disheartened to see his foolproof plan fail. He stood for a moment and watched more leaves moving on their own, up and down. He finally decided to check what was making this magic. He barely got three feet when his dad and mom came flying out the back door yelling,  “Murph, where are you?”

Sam looked bewildered. All of a sudden, the leaves were moving toward him. Before he could cry out, a golden-brown-haired little dog with a pushed-in face came right at his feet, sneezed, and then ran to Sam’s mom.

Sam’s mom ended the confusion by saying, “The Reynolds wanted to rake the yard this morning and of course, we offered to watch Murph. He is only a few months old, poor little pug. The Reynolds were thrilled. They didn’t even have to ask.”

Sam Snibble looked at all the leaves he’d have to rake over again, and it looked like he muttered under his breath, “Isn’t mom a great neighbour.”

Oh well, the long and short of this tale is that Sam’s dad did help with the leaves after all. And I’d say that when that little puppy returned home, the leaves were what they were. No magic there.

Two little things: I’m Cynthia Slogan and I live across the street. I’m telling you this story because I’m always watching the neighbourhood. I’m not nosy, just watching, you see. All in all, though, I would say that little Sam Snibble did have quite a day.

(NEVER EVER GIVE UP).

By jamesghutcheson

BOB’S YOUR UNCLE, MAUDIE’S YOUR AUNT

Hello everyone, everywhere,

Well, this week has been astounding. I did some good walking–with Hamish I’m afraid. Hamish is my cane; when you’ve been with something so long you give it a name. Along the way, I heard a good band. I think I wouldn’t mind joining them.

Later that day I decided to go for another walk and have a beer. I sat outside and had my one beer; then when I was getting ready to go I saw this woman sitting with a younger man. I was hoping it was her son. She took my breath away. So I went and said hello, and she said hello, and her son said hello. The end. I wish there was more to tell you but that’s it. I’ll never forget her. If my friend is reading this little tale I hope you enjoy tonight’s story.

And now it’s time to close our eyes and our thoughts, if only for a moment… and rest. Until we meet again, may I present…

CHARLIE AND DESIREE DOVE SAY GOODNIGHT

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This one starts at age seventy-five. Once so young, and now life–which once seemed forever–passes too quickly.  Memories, many forgotten over time …perhaps lost…or just tucked away.

Charlie turned his head and remembered. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. When the sun touched her eyes that day and she smiled…well…if I hadn’t approached her that evening, I would have regretted it for the rest of my life.

Desiree took Charlie’s hand and thought, I’m glad you were the one.

With those dreams carrying them both to sleep, how else would you say good night?

That’s all.

(NEVER EVER GIVE UP)

By jamesghutcheson

KEEP SMILING

Hello everyone, everywhere,

This week has been kind of funny. I’ve been looking good, dressing well, and I found out I was pretty healthy. (I love my doctor). But that’s not helping me right now. Because I’m so banged up, I finally got approved for medical marijuana. That’s been great except that between all the screw ups, I won’t get anything for a week. That is not working for me. But Michelle says to keep an open mind. Luckily my friends have tried their best to keep me going.

I’m not telling everyone to use pot–that’s not what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is the fact that I have so many crippling disabilities, and this stuff is a bloody miracle. It works, and thank god it’s finally legal in Alberta. (But I wouldn’t care either way).

The rules are strange to me, but I guess I have to adapt. My only goal is to  keep my hands moving and get healthy enough so that I can keep playing and writing. Though the pain constantly rages through my body, it seems to affect my left hand and arm the worst. The battle never ends, but it doesn’t know how strong I am. That’s it.

And now it’s time to close our eyes and our thoughts, if only for a moment…and rest.

IN SUCH A WAY AS THIS

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Naked, vulnerable, confident, strong…and scared to death–Sam found himself in a flurry of emotions. He was all dressed for the show. He looked at the people who were entering the building and finding seats–heavy murmurs,  great expectations. His eyes closed as he visualized what was to come.

Sam wondered how he got in this position of constant stress. Damn, that’s the manager’s job–I mean that’s what they do, right? He knew what he had to do–he could fool himself into buying into anything. But the crowd always made him wrestle with indecision…and truth.

Sam and the rest of the band came to terms with a look and a nod. They couldn’t lay this one on the crew. It was all them. No turning back, only forward. Face the night, hit the lights, and play your ass off on such a day as this.

That’s all.

(NEVER EVER GIVE UP)

By jamesghutcheson