Sunday, November 29, 2020

What Is Freedom and Liberty? An Innocent Child of the Future in the Year 2076 Asks an Honest Question...

Dear Reader, 

I hope you enjoy this futuristic short story of how important it is to always retain our Liberty and Freedom for every American. 

We must always improve upon America, while honoring our past, respecting the present, and protecting a hopeful future for our citizenry that is still yet to be born.

Against all odds forevermore, we must protect liberty and freedom for every American.

Circa 2076:

Location: A Pleasant Summer Night in a Beautiful Mountainous Setting in America...

I GAZED at the crackling flames of our campground's fire and poked at the burning logs with the charred tip of the fire stick in my right hand. The heat was quite comforting and all was good. 

I did not concern myself with the thought of any potential bears or mountain lions that might be lurking, prowling or eyeballing us from afar. For now, our little trio was warm, safe and happy. 

"Grandpa...Grandpa, did you hear me?" I heard my seven-year old granddaughter ask of me.

Her sweet voice pulled me out of my trance and I shook my head to clear my thoughts. 

"What? No I didn't. I'm sorry, Veronica, what did you say?" I replied.

I turned my head to the left and viewed her face and locks of brown hair protruding below her USA beanie pulled down over her ears. Veronica's enlightened appearance from the amber glow of the fire gave her a more Angelic look, and I smirked because she was a pure bundle of joy, spirit and inquisitiveness all rolled into one. 

Veronica grinned at me and then said, "That's okay, Grandpa. I want to know when Grandma is coming back from the cabin with our marshmallows?"

I nodded, then shot a quick glance over Veronica towards our lit-up cabin off in the distance. My wife of nearly forty-years had already entered the lodge and would soon be on her way back with the treats for us to roast over the fire.

"Be patient, sweetie, Grandma should be back in about ten-minutes." I replied.

Veronica shrugged her shoulders and smiled, her eagerness to eat toasted marshmallows temporarily assuaged. After a few seconds, I caught her staring at my three-fingered left hand, which she often did, and she asked, "Grandpa, what is freedom?"

Surprised by her question, I was again reminded of her intelligence and curiosity even though she was only seven-years old. In the past several weeks, she had become even more investigative of my wartime past which had only cost me my pinky and ring finger on my left hand. 

I was careful not to share too much information with her about that horrific period in our world's history during the Sovereignty War, but she deserved to know the correct deal from her own Grandpa. 

I wiped at my nose and responded, "Freedom is what every human being wants for themselves and their family. Freedom is having the ability to say what you want, and do what you want, when you want, and with whom you want. As long as you are not breaking the law. Freedom is...natural."

Veronica inclined her head while absorbing the breadth of my lengthy explanation. She squinted at the flames of the campfire and gently bit down on her lower lip. She was a deep-thinker, contemplative. 

Finally, she stared back at me with her hazel eyes and quizzically asked, "So, does freedom cost money? Am I free? How do people get freedom?"

I looked at her and shook my head while attempting to gauge the impact of my upcoming reply, before answering, "You're an American, and yes, you have freedom, and liberty. However, freedom is not free, but it does not cost money. In order to remain free, we must all pay a price and work together and help each other. We must protect our freedom to keep it. Otherwise, some people will try to take our freedoms away from us."

She frowned, then pulled her head back and responded, "What does that mean, Grandpa? Why would someone want to do that to us? And what is liberty?"

Off in the distance, I noticed my wife emerging from the cabin and beginning her trek in our direction with the beam of her flashlight just a flicker. I closed my eyes and counseled myself silently before stating, "Veronica, those are good questions, and, Grandma is on her way back to us now."

Veronica quickly glanced over her shoulder and clapped her gloved hands eagerly. 

Then she turned her attention back to me and I continued my reply, "Some people don't want us to be free, they don't believe in freedom or liberty. And, liberty means that nobody can restrict your thoughts, deeds or actions; so long as you are not hurting yourself or somebody else, and not threatening to hurt another person."

She listened to my response, nodded and asked, "Okay, so what is freedom?"

I jabbed at the campfire and rearranged a couple of logs with my firestick and replied, "Freedom and liberty are buddies, and they go together like cake and ice cream."

She chuckled at my description and I continued, "Yes, Veronica, you are free. And even for a seven-year old kid, that means you can go where you want, when you want and do what you want, as long as you are not breaking the law. Obviously, your Mommy and Daddy have final say on it, since you're just a kid, and nothing is more important than your safety. But for now, do you understand the basic idea of freedom and liberty?" 

Slowly, she nodded and said, "I think so, Grandpa." Then she paused and asked, "Is everybody else free, around the world I mean?"

I pursed my lips and shook my head, knowing that my answer would shatter parts of her youthful innocence. I said, "No, unfortunately, there are many people in other parts of the world that want to be free, but they are not allowed to be free because their governments are not built that way, respectfully."

"Hmm." She mused, obviously saddened by my explanation. After a lengthy pause, she asked, "So, freedom and liberty comes from government?"

I smirked, shook my head and replied, "No sweetie, it comes from God, our creator, and it's even written into the founding documents of our nation to protect every American."

Veronica's expression became more hopeful, she glanced up at the starry night sky and quietly replied, "That makes sense, Grandpa."

We remained silent and I watched as Veronica returned her gaze back to the campfire and allowed her mind to sift through the spectrum of my answers.

I heard the crunching of my wife's footsteps upon the matted pine needles of the forest floor as she neared us, while the beam of her flashlight scanned for a pathway in our direction. 

Veronica let out a deep sigh and finally stated, "I always want to be free, Grandpa. Okay?"

I smiled and replied, "Yes, of course, sweetie. Don't worry, you will always be free. I promise."

"Thanks, Grandpa." She uttered, obviously comforted by my assurances.

Veronica stood up and walked over to me, and gave me a quick hug. Then, in the process of returning to her little camping chair, she pointed with an outstretched arm and exclaimed, "Look, Grandma is here with the marshmallows!"

I rose from my own weathered chair to greet my wife and offer some help. I rested my firestick alongside the chair and said to my wife, "Right on time, my dear; and Veronica is ready to roast those marshmallows."

"Yes!" Veronica shouted with glee. 

My wife handed me the small bag of sweets, then she pecked me on the cheek before asking, "Wonderful, and what have the two of you been doing while I was away?"

Before I could muster a reply, Veronica blurted, "Grandpa has been teaching me about freedom and liberty."

My wife grinned at our granddaughter, obviously surprised. Then she tilted her head at me, winked and said, "Oh wow...well I should say, that's time well spent."

I chuckled and soon began skewering marshmallows onto sticks for us to commence. I handed each of them a stick with a single marshmallow on it.

The three of us edged closer to the campfire and began cooking our treats over the flames. 

Once again, I was reminded by the beauty of the simplest things in life, and of how truly special American freedom and liberty actually are.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Fate Came Calling...and That's a Good Thing

Dear Reader, 

I am humbled and honored by the high ratings and great reviews that my third book, FATE CAME CALLING is earning from book lovers and literary critics.

Fate Came Calling is a remarkable True Story, and it happens to be my first Non-fiction book. 

It's the amazing life story of Airline Pilot and Executive, Warren Vest, an American Patriot that rose from the unassuming life of an ordinary farm kid raised in the Midwest. 

During his freshman year of college, Warren took a Big Chance and embarked on a life-changing adventure. He accepted the challenge and it altered the course of his life forever. 

Simply incredible...

I hope you enjoy the book about the outstanding life of Warren Vest, it's a daring and refreshing tale of Americana innocently emerging and coming to life.

It took me three-years to research and write the book. If you like it, please share your thoughts and tell a family member or friend about Fate Came Calling.

Book Launch Party - Fate Came Calling at Livermore, CA (Airport hangar).