I now have 20-20 hind sight and I see and very much appreciate all the times God kept me from real harm. There can be no other explanation from my perspective. So Yes Brad, there have been some small scars already, but I hope those do teach some lessons that they can build on.
Pat, my friend, you just described the truly one and only worthwhile mission of this site: Conservative Cumbaya.
It loses something in the alliterative spelling. I was just out pruning, watering, tying-up (no new-fangled cages for me), and otherwise fussing over the tomatoes. (This analogy might extend to females as well….perhaps except for the cages.) Do you know how much work it takes to establish even minimum order in a garden? It’s amazing.
When we schlep out our lives without the benefit of an experienced gardener (nurturer, father, mentor, etc.) we tend to grow wild. We may be expert in the creation of abundant fertilizer (BS, etc.) but we often plant ourselves in the wrong soil. (I fear it’s past time to watch “Being There” again.)
And sometimes we water ourselves with booze or pills. Last of all, and most important of all, we cannot grow without the Light. Our red-diaper-doper-baby hippie-generation black lights just wouldn’t do the job, although it made the wall posters look cool.
But all in all, you seem to have been transplanted into better soil. Oh, the fertilizer is still abundant but that comes with being a guy. Still, it’s good to have you as a friend. No hugs. Just spit on the ground and scratch yourself. That’s what real men do.