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Short Stories and Musings while sitting on my Ass

by Sussie Due

"My Den"

Sussie Due

October 2002

Here I sit in my den. With my computer system (affectionately named Hal), my phone/fax, two filing cabinets, a wall full of books, flags hanging on the wall (St. Andrews Cross, Rampant Lion, and the USA), accompanied by various oils paintings, pictures, and Terry Redlin's plates and calendar sets. My lighthouse, and Lassie collections scattered on shelves here and there. This is my realm. This is where I sit and breathe life into my stories.

My husband respects my realm. Sheepishly peaking in through the door, he tries to catch my eye before he enters. Even the dogs seem to tip toe in and quietly lie down in various spots. Except for my loyal old friend "Minute", who draws my attention in her own special four-footed way. She knows this is as much her room as mine. I have set no rules for this room. My husband and furry "family" seem to have made their own to follow

I write better at night. It seems that stories, very much like dreams, are moon worshipers. I normally write for about two hours. Some nights, however, a particular story might take me away on a journey that will last until 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning. Present time is lost in journeys such as the ones my stories have taken me on. Fingers flying on my keyboard, I have unwittingly created my own time machine. When my story has finally returned me home, I climb into bed exhausted. My husband, arising later, followed by all the dogs but one, quietly draws the shades, shuts the door, and lets me sleep.

"A Letter of Encouragment"

Sussie Due

February 2001

To all who need encouragement,

Listen to these words and take heart. I am only 40 years old, yet I have been told I have wisdom beyond my years. Possibly. I don't know. I'm just me. I am what I am. I know that at times you feel you must do everything at once. Slow down. You have the rest of your life.

I have always told myself “I never want to look back on my life and regret having had the opportunity to do something yet did not do it”.

Life is an adventure to those who dare to take the challenge. Grab on to it. Hang on with all your might. It will take you to limitless places. The words “I cannot” are stumbling blocks. They are a demon that must be eradicated. Do not be afraid to try something new, even if you make mistakes while doing it. Mistakes are how we learn. This is how we can face life head on. Do not be afraid to cry, either for happiness or sorrow. That is what tears are for. Do not be afraid to laugh or be silly. If it makes you happy, or causes someone else to feel the same, then by all means do it. Do not be afraid of what other people think. If they do not like what they see, they can look away. Choose your friends wisely. Take only those who accept you for what you are. It is better to go through life without friends than to have those who project negativity. They are only nooses that will soon hang you.

I have often heard people say “I want to go out into the world and find myself”. Some people spend their entire lives trying to “find” themselves. In order to truly find yourself, you need to look deep inside. To succeed in this wretched world you need to know yourself. Once you have mastered that then you will find yourself much happier. Understand your mind. It is yours. Take command of it.

People talk about relationships. How they search and search but never find that special someone. I say this. Do not look for love. Let it find you. True love is not something you create. It just appears and you can’t explain why. That is how I found my husband. And I have never regretted it. I have known people to go from relationship to relationship trying to find that perfect “image” to be seen with. All the while their own image is being dashed to pieces. These people will never be happy. They only think they are. They say to me “Oh I’ll just keep searching. There are many fish in the sea”. To which I tell them “Ah yes, but you will eventually run out of fish!”

That is all I have to offer for now. I am not trying to be philosophical. I am speaking from experience. You can either take all of this to heart, a portion of it, or none at all. It is entirely up to you.

One who has experienced it.

"Why can't we all just get along?"

Sussie Due

October 2003

This came to me in a dream

“Why can’t we all just get along?”

You hear that statement a lot don’t you?

And they say the wilderness is an uncivil place.

Where is the truth in this?

Do you ever wonder why things seem so peaceful in the wilderness?

Everyone gets along with each other.

The bird. The wolf. The coyote. The cougar. The deer. The bear. The fish. The smaller animals.

They all get along.

They accept each other for what they are. They have no issues.

An example?

The wolf will feed on the deer. The bear will feed on the fish. The coyote will feed on the smaller animals.

Predator versus prey.

The prey accepts this. They do not condemn the predator for its actions.

When the predator loses their prey, they do not condemn the prey.

Enter the city and listen to the noise.

Enter the wilderness and listen to the peace.

You decide.

"The Streetlight"

Sussie Due

November 2003

My adoptive mother came from a very poor family of the Ozarks. So, when she married money, it "went to her head" so to speak. If anything was built or bought for mother, it was the biggest, or the best, or both. Therefore, the fact that we had a four story, 17-room house, on a corner lot, in a town the size of a postage stamp, did not surprise anyone. The bedrooms where on the top level. Mine faced the streetlight, and its yellow glow shone boldly at night. Even with the shades drawn, it still lit up the room bright enough that you could almost read a book by it. I hated that light, except in the winter when it snowed.

Back in my childhood, there was no such question of "if" it would snow. The main questions were "when" and "for how long". As is a rule the ground was covered by Thanksgiving and did not rear its head, with the exception of the occasional January thaw, until March or so. It wasn't unusual for us to have a constant 18 inches or more on the ground. The city would use a Grader to scrape the snow up into a huge strip in the center of the streets. Then a Scoop (front-end loader) would place this into dump trucks, which would deposit it in a large empty lot somewhere in town. This lot full of snow had a two-fold purpose for the kids of our small town. The first being that within a week, the piles looked like Swiss cheese from the tunnels dug and "forts" made. The second being that it meant we usually had snow to play in clear into the month of May and, on rare occasions, June.

Nightly routine for me was to bathe, say my prayers, kiss my parents goodnight, pull the shades, turn my back to the window, and go to sleep. This ritual was only broken in the winter months, and only when it was snowing. It was on these nights the shade got a rest as I lay there looking out my large bedroom window; watching the snowflakes twinkle against the soft yellow light of that wonderful streetlight.

"My Veiws"

Sussie Due

May 2004

I do not expect everyone to think the same as I. I do not expect to change everyone’s way of thinking. I do not condemn those who are different that I am. I also hope that they do not condemn me for my differences either. Having said that…

This world, as we know it, is going through turmoil. Unlike anything it has even seen. And the prognoses of it getting better, is very grim. The cause of this illness is closed minds. The only cure is to open them. Unfortunately, once a mind has been closed, usually the lock is very secure and the key is lost forever.

The world I grew up in, and still live in, is very basic. We hunted, fished, slaughtered, planted, harvested… The earth was our mother. She cared for us. And we cared for her. It has not changed for me in the least. If anything, I love her more now than ever.

There are those who are now trying to prevent this from happening. They do not want us to survive. They are trying to persuade the new minds that all of what we do is wrong. This causes me worry.

People look at my lifestyle. The fact that I own guns is wrong, they say. But it is wrong only because they have never grown up in the environment I grew up in.

The environment an individual grows up in becomes second nature to them. If the child’s family always had guns, the child thinks nothing of it. If the child’s family has never owned guns, the child thinks nothing of it. The same holds true if the family hunts, or fishes, or lives off the land.

Despite what adults think, children are capable of reading their own feelings. If something does not feel right to a child, they listen to themselves and stay away from it. Basic primal instincts are still very prevalent. Unfortunately their minds can be easily swayed. They can be told that guns, hunting, basic survival, are wrong. And because they have never experienced it, they believe it must be so. I feel options should be given. The child should be shown both sides, so to speak, and let them decide for themselves. They will know their feelings. They will know if it feels right or wrong. They should not let other decide for them. If they feel right about the situation, so be it. If they feel that it something they want no part of, so be it. Don’t condemn them either way.

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