Several years ago several ambitious construction projects were begun, where the building material would come from our own oak trees on our property. Oak may not be the best or easiest building wood, because when it dries it is heavy and as hard as iron, and thus tough on tools and shoulders alike, but it is what we have there.
So oaks were cut, skidded, piled, and then milled in situ over about a five year period. An injury and subsequent surgery prevented me from continuing this remote effort, which then moved forward in fits and starts over several years. When we finally got around to completing the actual projects, much of that beautiful oak had been sitting out for a long time, and in some cases too long. After using up much of that oak lumber, a large amount yet remained in piles, where it had air dried.
Last week was my final drive to get under roof thousands of board feet of two-inch-thick oak boards, heavy beams, and smaller posts, before they started to rot. It was a lot of work. The unusual heat and blazing sun made the work go slower. One thing that surprised me was the absence of mice living in these outdoor piles. Normally mice run and scurry as the wood is moved, having nested among the boards in perfect little hidey holes.
The last pile of drying lumber was finally put away, with just a few boards remaining at the very end, butted up against a huge boulder that makes up part of a stone wall around the yard. As I dismounted the tractor, stepped over to the board ends, and reached down to grab them, a sound caught my attention.
It was a sound that set off primitive alarm bells in my brain.
At first it sounded like a cricket, and then a grasshopper, and then a second later my mind concluded it was a timber rattlesnake. After stepping back, well, let’s say it was an inelegant, well, ugly (it’s a big fat man jumping, after all) leap, minus my usual little girl scream that seems to accompany most of my unplanned and close-up rattlesnake encounters, I looked down.
A long black snake with a yellow diamond pattern was stretched out next to the boulder, about six inches from where my boot heel had settled moments before. The long grass against the boulder had concealed the snake from my eyes, which, frankly, had not looked there, but had rather been focused on the heavy boards, and how I was going to pick them up and manhandle them to their destination across the yard.
The snake’s angular head and erect tail with rattles confirmed it as a timber rattlesnake.
While it was not a huge male rattler, the likes of which I have caught and moved to safety off of roads and trails a number of times since I was a kid, it was nonetheless big enough to permanently remove a chunk of leg muscle. So I admired it for a minute, and then went on to other work elsewhere. When I returned an hour later, it was gone, though I thought I could see it coiled up right under the boulder’s edge. Instead of reaching down with my hands, I used the pallet forks on the tractor to pull out those last boards.
Over the course of the next two days, my mind kept replaying the encounter. In July 2001, when we had owned the property for seven months, DCNR forester Jim Hyland and I had scoured our property, as well as the adjoining State Forest and part of the adjoining private land, looking for rattlesnakes. That day we found a corn snake, a garter snake, a ring neck snake, and two green snakes. No sign of rattlesnakes among the rock and old slate quarries up high. Not even a shed skin.
So for sixteen years we had enjoyed our property without being mindful of rattlers. Our children had been born and raised around the cabin, running freely around the property. Sure, I spent a lot of time in our woods, a certified Tree Farm, and I have always been on the lookout for rattlesnakes, as well as other snakes, but I had seen few snakes at all, and never a rattler.
Snakes are awesome, they are awesomely cool creatures. I bear them no animosity whatsoever. In high school and college a pet boa constrictor kept me company, until she had grown so large that she was regularly breaking out of her cage and hunting our house cats. When I last saw her, she filled up one side of the man’s living room, and he regularly fed her rabbits and squirrels he trapped in his yard. She weighed about 150 pounds then, and was ten years old. I hugged her, but she just laid there, limp and dozing. Snakes…what can you do? Love em the best ya can.
And so now I am confronted with the fact that a potentially dangerous animal shares our camp with us. All around us we have seen rattlesnakes over the years, mostly run over by cars down on the highway, and increasingly I see them all over central and Northcentral Pennsylvania while cruising timber and looking at land. At some point I did expect them to join us as tenants of one sort at the cabin. Under the front porch is where I thought they would first show up, because it’s good cover and the mice like it there. Struggling emotionally to adjust to this new arrangement has not been painful, but it has been harder than I thought it would be.
The absence of mice under the wood piles reminded me why I accept and even welcome the presence of timber rattlesnakes, intellectually if not emotionally. Mice are a major pest, and they are destructive little bastards. Hearing them chirp and run inside the walls of the cabin at night, right next to my bed, is a source of aggravation. When they eat porch and barn furniture for nesting material, it is infuriating. They pee everywhere, and it stinks. We regularly trap them around the buildings and poison them inside the barn. Help reducing their numbers is most welcome, and anyone or anything that helps achieve that goal is a friend of mine.
Timber rattlers are beautiful to look at, and they are normally pretty docile, requiring a lot of pestering and rough handling to elicit a strike. But like all wild animals they are unpredictable, and the risk they pose to little kids playing outside is significant. Fortunately, our kids have reached ages where they can think carefully for themselves, consciously avoiding areas where rattlers would naturally congregate. And we now infrequently host families with little kids as guests, as most of our friends have kids the same ages as our own children, able to take guidance, if they are with their parents at all.
So the risks versus the benefits works out in our favor. The benefits of rattlers sharing our property are high, because they eat the hell out of mice. Rattlesnakes are my new friends, in low places, where they are needed most.
America has been in the grip of moral relativism since the 1960s, and nowhere is this corrosive belief system more evident than among Politicians-Gone-Wild who get caught.
Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Kathleen Kane was just found guilty on all counts, including perjury, and her answer (she has been consistent on this from the beginning of her investigation) is something like “it is not my fault, I am the victim, everyone is out to get me, it’s not fair, and everyone does bad things so my bad actions are no worse than anyone else’s so I am therefore not guilty.”
This “Everybody does it, so I am not guilty” mindset has now filtered down from guilty politicians to nearly everyone in America. Seems to be almost a lifestyle, where people take whatever they want or think they can get away with, and then cry foul when they are caught and held accountable in even small ways.
Basic examples found daily in the news include shoplifters who then destructively run amok in the store they are caught in, decrying their “unfair” treatment by causing thousands of dollars in damage to prove their aggrieved status.
The most egregious example of this is the Black Lives Matter movement, where mostly hardened crooks are elevated to innocent hero status in the effort to attack civilization and the citizens who undergird it, our wonderful police officers.
More common is the trespassing for firewood theft and recreation that I frequently experience on properties we own or manage.
One guy had his teenaged children riding their ATVs on our property, and when I finally begged him to make them stop, his response was “I can’t control them.” Never mind that he had put up so many No Trespassing signs on our common boundary, and quite a few were way over that boundary deep into our land, that you could not look through the woods without seeing a sea of yellow marring the scenic beauty. In other words, he zealously guards against anyone trespassing on his land, but he casually lets his people trespass on our land, and makes no real effort to stop it.
Recently I received a brutal call from an angry local man I do not know, who really chewed me out, calling me every bad name imaginable. He ended his tirade with “A lot of people out here in the valley hate you.”
Despite efforts to have a lucid conversation with the man and inject actual facts to rebut his wild accusations, he denounced me one more time and then hung up the phone. Sitting there contemplating this strange call, I began recounting the run-ins we have had with his trespassing and thieving neighbors. Indeed, a great many of his neighbors had attempted to steal some of our land, or were serial trespassers after recreation and deer, or were thieves stealing commercial quantities of firewood and mountain stone.
Yes, we have had run-ins with people around him, and when I investigated with one of the confessed trespassers, he informed me that the caller was one of the people we had inadvertently netted in our anti-trespassing efforts.
Ah hah! went my brain. Here we have a man who has been trespassing on our land for years, stealing from us firewood and mountain stone for business purposes, and he is mad as hell that his free gravy train has come to an end.
And in fact, this guy was not alone in his angry denunciation of his imaginary oppressor.
One of the other trespassing locals we caught stealing red-handed two and a half years ago was so mad, he began denouncing me to anyone he met. I guess this is a customary defense mechanism, where guilty people try to pre-empt any negative information about themselves, but it is remarkably brazen nonetheless. We declined to press charges against him, because he probably would have lost his job as a result. And his partner in crime, a local attorney, could have lost his law license.
None of our largesse was appreciated or rewarded by these criminals. In fact, they took it as a sign of weakness and lack of resolve, and they went on the offensive, personally maligning the person who they blamed for their misfortune. That being “caught.” No taking responsibility, no admitting guilt, no owning up to doing something wrong, but instead blaming others for their moral failures.
One of the things I dislike about one of the presidential candidates is that she has zero morals, no ethics, no moral compass. She refuses to take responsibility for her many failed policies and legal failures as a senior American official.
One of the things I like about her opponent is that he stands for basic decency, defined by weak 2016 standards, mind you, not the 1940s Norman Rockwell ways by which we used to run this country, and which I grew up with and miss very, very much.
Americans must elect political leaders who set a basic standard for good behavior, who represent a return to basic good values, and who help us get away from corrosive moral relativism, a culture eating away the foundations of human relationships.
Nothing competes with an experience so new and profound that it changes your views on a host of subjects. Thus was my recent introduction to Dundas Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland.
On the outskirts of historic Edinburgh (today pronounced “Edinboro,” as if the Vikings and Saxons had not come through previously. Think of pronouncing Pittsburgh as ‘Pittsboro’…), and just barely within view of the mighty Edinburgh Castle, is Castle Dundas, complete with spectacular grounds, English (Scottish) gardens, new and old sculptures (including an old one of Oliver Cromwell) and stone fountains, and a 1400s stone keep designed to withstand the best of catapults in its day.
Parapets ringing the high walls of Dundas date from the 1800s, 1700s, and 1600s, and the keep is centered inside it all.
Were I to be married again, to the same wonderful woman (Vivian), of course, I would do it at Dundas.
The laird there, Sir Jack, has made Dundas an unusual and meaningful destination for couples seeking to be wed, as well as a place for shooting parties, indoor and outdoor family and corporate events, and golfing.
There is a generous helping of tartan drapes hanging from twelve-foot ceilings; but unlike most places, it fits because it belongs there.
It’s the inside of that 1400s stone keep that is the main attraction, and a place the likes of which you will never see again in your life, and I don’t care of you are a Duke somewhere with your own castle, because few of these old keeps remain intact.
Yes, it is a bit dungeon-y, and the only entrance is through a massive iron door turning in on four-inch-thick iron spindles. Now THAT is a door.
The interior of the keep is a series of large and small rooms with arched ceilings, all connected by a single corridor and a gently winding staircase. Occasionally a secret staircase drops off and down out of sight, presumably for easier escapes in times of war and invasion. Each room has its own decor, but all have the ancient, sombre stone walls that remind us of old tymes in a way that no theme park, no 1800s Rhode Island copycat stone mansion can ever capture.
For example, in the stone steps somewhere between the second and third floors were drill holes, where someone hundreds of years ago had repeatedly spun a distaff or spindle. Perhaps making yarn from sheep’s wool, or breaking down some foodstuff into constituent parts, or mixing some foodstuff, a person had sat in that one lonely spot in the staircase, contributing their share of labor to the household, and by all appearances others had sat there, too.
If those steps could only whisper, much less talk…. I swear I heard the clank of armor, the rustle of silk, and the faint whispers of palace intrigue echoing.
My favorite room was no, not the armory, though that is a neat room, surely. Rather, deep into the heights of the keep lies a large chapel room where weddings are held. Another smaller, distant room is where the couple signs their wedding contract.
May I suggest, Sir Jack, that you have made a copy of the most Celtic Kilchoan Cross, now found at Inverie, with the hole in the middle, where the new couple can extend their betrothal vows and pass through their wedding contract. That would complete the wedding experience at Dundas, and introduce what should be a common and most beautiful practice.
If you live anywhere in England or Scotland, or America and Canada, for that matter, and you are considering unusual and rare places to get married, may I recommend Castle Dundas.
Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs are kids’ toys, used to teach elementary building concepts to little kids. The laws of physics are a core component of those lessons.
Apparently these basic rules have been forgotten by a huge portion of Americans when they are applied to building a nation.
America provides more liberty, freedom, and opportunity to more individuals from more walks of life than any other nation. The way it does that is through a carefully constructed and delicately balanced arrangement of written laws and social norms.
No house of cards, America is nonetheless like any human society. It’s relatively fragile, easily upset, prone to mistakes.
So what is up with the Black Lives Matter anarchists and their many enablers carefully positioned around the racist movement’s periphery. Don’t these people recognize that if you make war on all police officers, whose job it is to keep our society from literally falling apart, the basic underpinnings can come out?
Students of history wonder aloud about Nazi Germany, how such a refined and materially successful culture fell so quickly, to be replaced by the lowest savagery. Well, societal failure can happen anywhere. It can happen here in America, too, if serious citizens do not work hard to teach to newcomers and next generations the basics of what it takes to make this place run so well.
Instead, one political party is dedicated to a culture of anarchy, false grievance, and Santa Claus – like gifting of everything from cell phones to houses, gratis the over-taxed American taxpayer. BLM has had the backing of Obama and most of the members of his party.
This means one of two major American parties is dedicated to America failing. Perhaps this is the “transformation” Obama spoke of, but let’s face it: This is a recipe for wall to wall catastrophe.
America is like a bank account. You only get to take from it what you put into it. A culture of taking, taking, taking and demanding and foot-stomping is a giant withdrawal from the bank account. To the point where the account is becoming overdrawn.
Put another way, America is like a carefully arranged assortment of Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys. Once the bottom most foundational principles are removed, the whole thing will crash down.
Please don’t take America for granted. She can only sustain so many overdrafts and big withdrawals from her account before she fails. Lend a hand and keep the underpinnings held together. Vote for the only presidential candidate who can and will do that, Donald Trump.
And yes, I think it is sad that he is the smartest, most capable kid in the playroom. But that is the fact. Trump is not arguing against the laws of physics
Though many people see me as a tough guy, I am not immune to emotional pain and frustration, and the past two weeks have been filled with plenty of both, and so I have danced around the issues that keep popping up in order to avoid publicly dealing with these hurtful events.
Most events are Islam-inspired, Islam-directed, Islam-implemented murders in America and France.
The mass media and social media is run by hardened political partisans who will not discuss Hillary Clinton’s illegal actions or her illegal political whitewashing by the Obama administration, who will not accurately inform the public about who is committing violence against French citizens and American police officers, and who instead direct their efforts at undermining everything that Western Civilization has stood for, lo, these past thousand years, if not past three hundred.
For example, The Mirror, a major newspaper of record in Britain, continues to describe how a white truck drove through a Bastille Day crowd in Nice, France. No real disclosure of the fact that the young Arab man was a radical Muslim. Nope; the truck drove itself. Can’t admit those motives!
For example, a young African American radical, former member of the Nation of Islam, active Black Panther member, who murders three police officers and seriously injures another four in Baton Rouge is described as a Marine. Not a former Marine, but a Marine, as if he is an active duty Marine. As if Marines routinely murder police officers. Nope, they cannot correctly ascribe his insane motives, unless the media can smear the military.
For example, Black Lives Matter – inspired murderers are described as indirect-indirect-indirect victims of police brutality, not the radical, violent, anarchist traitors they are.
For example, racist Black Lives Matter violence is routinely described as non-violent protests, despite the fact that Black Lives Matter is most accurately described as “The Klan With a Tan,” because their members are the most racist, most bigoted, most violent activists presently on American streets, in public libraries, and in university buildings across America. And what does that say about their supporters and defenders? Bigots all, each and every one.
Last week I was in New York City, surrounded by a million pretty little butterflies, young people with multiplicities of tattoos, hair colors, piercings, uncommon clothes, impractical shoes, and other accoutrements they believe really set them apart as individuals.
They were walking, sitting, talking, protesting, many striking up dramatic poses with cigarettes, and arms akimbo, men striking angular body arrangements, usually with wrists dramatically flapping.
All this self-expression is based on an utter materialism at odds with the preponderance of their social behavior and leftist political views that demonize everything required to clothe and feed them.
Who cares, they think, they are living in a pampered un-reality of Twitter hashtags and imaginary grievances.
Such a slavish shallowness exists completely at odds with the hard realities surrounding these young people. But America’s material success has put these kids to sleep. Heck, material success has even allowed them to turn against America and blame her for a whole litany of imaginary and ridiculous crimes.
These kids are America’s future.
Meanwhile, it’s serious people in suits, in offices, and driving trucks and trains and planes that keep everything moving forward for the pretty little butterflies, content as they are to flit from one flowery cafe to another, dependent as they are on everything being made for and delivered to them by someone else.
What worries me is that buzzing around the edges of our comfy little world, and getting closer all the time, is a horde of a million angry hornets.
Hornets are incredibly carnivorous and aggressive, though some hornet species lay their eggs on the host body and fly away. A month or a year later, their eggs hatch and their little babies burrow inside, and then eat their way out from inside of the now-dying host.
See a metaphor here, dear reader?
Western civilization is filled to the brim with soft, gentle, kind, clueless little pretty butterflies. They gently fly and float from one soft spot to another, incorrectly believing the whole world is like this. New York City just has a concentration of them.
Meanwhile, misdirected leaders in Western Civilization have allowed the horde of angry hornets to come inside our cozy little home, and they refuse to spray the cloud of angry hornets buzzing furiously around us with deadly bug spray, before we all get stung. Most of our leaders are themselves sweet little butterflies, living in a cocoon of armed guards and high fences, while themselves denouncing private gun ownership and strong walls keeping our tax-paying citizens safe.
Human civilizations come and go. History demonstrates they always do. Today’s powerhouse nation becomes tomorrow’s lunch for a more powerful opponent. Refugees stream from one place to another, fleeing bloody murder and rapine and slavery. That is history, but it is also happening right now in the Middle East and North Africa, places run by Muslims.
That stuff is coming to Western Civilization.
The million angry hornets will eat the million gentle, pretty little butterflies.
Amidst all the present misery, happy reminders float to the top of our consciousness. That America and Pennsylvania have achieved great conservation successes amidst tremendous challenges.
The US National Parks turned 100 this year.
What would America be without our national parks and monuments? These special places define who we are; they are the cultural blood quietly flowing through our national body. Green, magnificent, beautiful, beyond human abilities, our national parks should be celebrated. Like our own blood, we only see them if we prick the skin to see what is underneath. Go ahead, take a drive and visit a national park; discover yourself.
This spring our family vacationed in Yosemite, and hiked day after day, lusting after photo-perfect landscape views and heavenly skies within our grasp, and without end. Last year it was Sequoia. I remain proud of my contributions to the creation of the Flight 93 Memorial, which has grown up and flown far beyond my 2003 expectations.
Here in Penn’s Woods, the Fish & Boat Commission turned 150 years old this spring. Yes, the PFBC is as old as the first US Civil War, a reminder that even in the often lawless throes of the industrial revolution’s filthy sewage, Americans, namely Pennsylvanians leading the way, valued their clean water and healthy fish stocks.
Mostly innocuous, the PFBC is like the angel in white whispering on our shoulder, reminding us of the good things we should do. Several years ago the agency survived an assassination attempt. Turned out, angel’s voices are too pure for industrial-strength greed and career politicians’ wishes for unlimited power and public wealth.
Also in Penn’s Woods, the Department of Conservation & Natural Resources recently named six new wild areas on existing public land. While wild areas are nice and welcome, waving a magic wand over existing public land and renaming it kind of begs the question: Why is this conservation agency not adding additional new acreage to the public holdings, and then striking a balance with the new designations?
Last week my son and I drove through the heart of Pennsylvania’s state forest complex, up in the northcentral region. Natural gas development arrived there and changed some of the publicly owned landscape in the past nine years. While gas drilling brought much needed cash and energy independence, laudable and valuable results, they came with a price – our public lands bore new scars from industrialization. DCNR would do the public interest best if it sought to balance impacts on its land with the addition of new acreage purchased from willing sellers. Then the new wild areas would really mean something.
Live on, PFBC, long may you prosper and guard our most basic nourishment, the water we drink.
Live long, national parks, long may you remind us of our best, purest selves.
Richard Nixon was the household name for lying scoundrel for about three decades.
The brilliant but personally flawed president secretly recorded White House goings-ons and had his fingerprints on a DNC office burglary. All in the name of politics. Nixon wanted to win and he wanted his opponents to lose. Despite numerous foreign and domestic policy achievements of note, Nixon obsessed over things great people are supposed to overlook.
Nixon was caught, and while facing a firestorm of media-driven criticism, he resigned. To avoid likely impeachment. By his own party.
Fast forward to now. Nixon was an amateur compared to the criminal behavior of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, whose legacy now includes an actual Midnight Massacre in broad daylight in order to shield Hillary Clinton from criminal prosecution.
Anyone interested in facts can go read up on the Obama administration’s obsession with punishing government employees mishandling and revealing government secrets. Obama has been on a real anti-openness jihad. Little people of no great political consequences are in jail as a result.
But Hillary Clinton walks free, in an in-your-face politically motivated cover-up of her misdeeds while at the US Dept. of State.
Here’s the lesson: A lot of people have no shame, and they are ruthless. They want power over others, at all costs, and they and their friends will do whatever it takes to get there.
Nixon resigned. Obama would never resign. He will continue to smirk arrogantly in the face of the American citizenry, while a weak shell of a political opposition makes small noises in protest. All that evil needs to triumph is for good people to do nothing, and right now a lot of Americans are simply looking the other way. They let Obama and Clinton do whatever they want, with no consequences.
This is political absolutism, by Obama and by his enablers; it is not the rule of law. If the American people will not assert themselves now, free and clear of vague party affiliations, then this nation, as it was conceived, is doomed, and so is individual liberty along with it.
Meanwhile, Richard Nixon looks like a saint.
Fourth of July?
Reminder: Today is Independence From Tyranny and Government Day.
We celebrate the individual today. Separate from invasive government.
Shoot a gun, post on a blog, celebrate your freedom.
After ten days hiking through the Adirondacks’ most remote wilderness areas with our 18 year-old daughter, I had plenty of take-aways and contemplative thoughts that came home with me.
One of which was the empowered feeling of eating far less than I usually do, while performing at a far increased level than normally challenged. More on this in a moment.
Another take-away was that I am never too old to make mistakes, and one of the mistakes I made was taking an incredibly heavy pack on a rugged through-hike, where every extra ounce can make or break the trip.
My damned pack weighed 70 pounds and had everything but a Democrat in it. Some of that extra weight was due to Nina’s unusually specialized diet, due to a disease she has had all her life. We had to plan for every food contingency, within the constraints of great dehydrated trail food I make at home. Dehydrated means it weighs a lot less, keeps longer, and is limited to certain meats, fruits and vegetables. Nonetheless, the extreme weight really beat on my feet on the rugged downhills, and it slowed us down.
About that food: As I have typically experienced in all of my past days afield, hunger feels a lot different at the end of a tough day. A handful of salty nuts and a handful of sweet dried fruit is usually sufficient to make me feel full and put me soundly to sleep in the tent. Breakfast is usually a large cup of dark sweetened tea and either oatmeal with dried fruit and brown sugar, or the same cold dried fruits and nuts. Then I am off with my kit, about to burn another 10,000 calories.
The meals I eat on these trips are at most a couple hundred calories, so there is a tremendous imbalance between output and input. That results in an extreme burn of body fat, among other positive effects.
So I wonder why I feel the need to eat so much more, so much that is physically unnecessary, when I am at home, or at work, and I am not churning through huge caloric burns?
As I stink at pop psychology, not venturing into the guesswork of why any person, particularly Americans, enjoy over-eating / binging will prove a relief to us all.
But I will say this: What an empowered feeling it is, what a sense of independence I had, from hardly eating a thing, while literally moving a small mountain on my back many miles each day. Each day I was able to successfully plow through the East Coast’s most remote wilderness on just a handful of home-made jerky, some salty nuts (salt is a necessity for our bodies), and some home-made dried fruit.
In the spirit of Independence from want, or mere feelings of want, I am committing to eating a hell of a lot less every day than I used to, not because it makes me look better, but because it makes me feel a hell of a lot better, more empowered, more in control, like I have achieved more with less than expected. That is a very good feeling.
Call me patriarchal, but the power of “Dad” still awes me, as it has so deeply shaped all human cultures from our beginning.
At his best, Dad is provider, protector, guardian, best friend, guide, advisor, partner….Someone a boy looks up to all his life, wants to emulate, and shares his intimate life struggles with.
Dad is that one person you can always count on, no matter what. It’s a pretty potent symbol and subject. Everyone loves “Dad.”
Fatherhood is so powerful that it can be used to hurt, too, and some father figures don’t seem to recognize their own strength. Or worse, they revel in their ability to punish, or hurt, though that seems to be a dying breed these days.
Today in America, we celebrate the happy and hard working Dads out there who have busted their butts, hoed tough rows, sacrificed and taken risks for their families.
Heck, we see these Hollywood superhero movies and it’s impossible not to laugh. Reality is a lot more compelling!
Just getting our kids off to school on time in clean clothes with all their books and pencils is a real feat. Paying the bills? Now THAT is true hero stuff. It’s not easy. Parents and dads who pull that off are the real heroes, because without them, the wheels come off.
Here’s to the dads- three cheers.