Tag Archives: freedom

Hey, Wait for Me.

Lee in Paradise
Hey, Wait for Me.
By Lee Broom

Originally Posted In ninetydaywonder.wordpress.com
August 14 2013

In the seventies all was good. My children began to marry. Business was great. The first grandchild appeared. And then another and another. My wife had disappeared with the family wealth but by doing so had given me an opportunity to experience freedom for the first time in my adult life. Becoming a purposefully sober person, also for the first time in my adult life, made it possible to experience this freedom in a way I would never have guessed was possible.

In the eighties I remarried and lost the freedom, lost the business, retired for a year, had a few drinks to feel better, discovered the futility of such a silly choice and returned to sober living. Got a job for a year. Self confidence returned and I began to rebuild my business. During this decade Asian economies boomed, some western economies faltered and the world began to change.

The nineties began with optimism, previously primitive Asian markets grew, enabling countries like South Korea to become first world powers. In North Korea Kim Jong Il, succeeded his father Kim Il Sung, US markets faltered, my own business soared through the first half of this decade and practically fell apart in 1995. I shut down my stores, moved my business from uppity North Scottsdale into low rent quarters in Phoenix, got an evening job and started over.

The new decade began with a stunned Lee Broom working two jobs, running a business and completely oblivious to the problems that the new decade brought to an optimistic America. I lived in an old office, 250 square feet, and questioned nothing. I stayed sober and prayed often.

By the end of this decade I had worked myself out of a short-lived period of poverty, rebuilt my business on credit cards and rediscovered my grandchildren. And their children. The first week of the new Presidential Administration marked the end of Lee Broom Gallery and Design, at least for a few months. I moved from a 2000 foot apartment into smaller but nicer quarters and began to learn new ways to market my wares and my skills.

There is a story woven thorough all this. It is the story of the citizens of the United States of America. In America there are people who will never have anything. This is primarily because they believe this is so. And they may be right. We must care for them and wherever possible help them to move into group two. And there are those who never give up and learn from their mistakes and move on. They do this because this is their reality. These are the people who keep the wheel turning. When a company downsizes those who are released from their careers decide which of these two groups they want to choose as their new reality. Some help reroute success, others know only their loss. During these times of difficulty I have belonged to both groups. There are no dollar signs on the measuring stick that I use to measure success. I have managed to stay in the Successful group more often than not because of another asset that I have not mentioned until now. I tithe. I don’t mean financially because I am not much of a Churchy kind of guy. But as a sober person for more than thirty-five years I have had another occupation which takes up a minimum of ten percent of my time; I make myself useful in the community by helping others. I’ve helped drunks get sober, hungry families get fed, taught oldsters how to use a computer, built a children’s theater, read to the blind and driven old ladies to Church and returned to pick them up when the service is over. Sometimes I even stayed for the service and sang when told to do so.

These activities keep me grateful. And I socialize with others who do the same. Within this group of people I call my friends, are those who are suffering and those who are not. I see people who once ran large corporations presently mowing lawns and cleaning kitchens.

I am 72. I am writing several books at a time and intend to publish this year before my eyes give out. I am learning how to take a business which first relied on retail stores, then upon sales calls and eventually on emails, greeting this new century by learning how to do all of the above and tie it all together with the internet, with social networking, a part-time job and a sense of gratitude to a Higher Power I call Love. I could never have comprehended such joy when I was twenty and driving my long, long convertible with a bottle of whiskey in my left hand, the steering wheel in my right and a very bad attitude. The bad attitude returns occasionally. But not for long.

I love my life and I love living it.

TIME AS EXPERIENCED AND AS REMEMBERED


REMEMBERED

 

Time for all purposes is measured two ways; the way we experience it and the way we remember it.

If you find yourself complaining that life is going too fast as you age I’m guessing that you need to get our head out of Your Past and open Your Present.

Our minds when in use, think in Real Time just as they did during our first year as guests on Planet Earth as we crawled about looking for a way to rise to our feet and better understand our environment.

Fear drives us to reminisce in search of better times. We hope as we do so that somehow this will build us back up and supply us with a new vigor, increased courage, as aids to facing the problems which threaten our current feelings of safety.

We must stay in the present as much as possible.

This, not That.

This is where Life is.

This is the secret to staying young.

Lets live it.

Lets Accept The Love and Pass it on.

 

 

THE BLUE MARBLE SPEAKS

File:The Earth seen from Apollo 17.jpgThe Blue Marble  Wikipedia File:The Earth seen from Apollo 17.jpg

 

THE BLUE MARBLE SPEAKS

Earth is a rock; Earth has no opinions; it cannot think, it cannot speak;  however…

Earth has a belief system.

If Earth could speak, it would say…

“I am hurtling through space in a perfectly straight line. I am not sure of my destination but I will arrive at the earliest possible time. Nothing can deter me; nothing can slow me down; I am following a perfectly plotted, straight path.  I am going where no Rock has ever gone before. I am Earth.”   

Of course, in reality this strong-willed rock has been in orbit for a very long time.  And so have you and I and everything else in the universe.

And that’s the Truth.

SAFETY FIRST (among giants)

lafayette compound 012

 

SAFETY FIRST

 

Life among giants is tricky.

We begin by staying close to Mom.

We venture out.

We crawl.

We rise up on our hind legs and we stumble.

We cry out for Mom but before she reaches us we are up again and on the move.

From Birth till Ever we search for safety.

We measure that safety with terms of approval.

We shout to the horizon “I am not afraid”.

And even when disappointed beyond words we seek additional measures of approval.

We had begun one person at a time until one day we decided “more is better”.

More approval meant  more cooperation but less emphasis on being right.

We stopped experimenting.

We adopted the attitudes and belief systems of the  group.

We rebelled occasionally, unhappy with having opted to be less true to ourselves in favor of what? Safety? Fairness? Fairness? Why had we abdicated our Freedom?

We had a cup of coffee in the most popular coffee shop and thought about it.

This isn’t so bad… is it?

Is it?

bathroom 1 014
Lee Broom

I AM I DO

lee_broom

I AM I DO 
Lee Broom

Our first scream is an involuntary response to the first gasp. It occurs at the moment of our first sensation of fear; our first decision, our first affirmation and our initial attempt at managing our place in this new world.

This first noisy protest is interrupted with cradled arms and soft, cooing Mommy Words, which lend a hint that this dangerous world into which we have been thrust has an oasis of safety; ours for the price of a scream.

The calming voice, the gentle words are familiar to the newly initiated. The touch of Mother’s hands are a new sensation but it too is somehow, known.

Our first scientific experiment has begun.

This is our first experience at asking for and receiving Love, a sensation which will in future decades become confused with Approval.

Our  experiments will become more sophisticated if not necessarily objective; life and the events that greet us will be measured, examined, dissected and reassembled as we seek to secure Maximum Safety.

Life may be more difficult for those of us who have missed the touching and the softly spoken words of gentle parenting. Perhaps we ask for help.

Later, in the language of Mommy Words we may even ask another, untouched soul “May I lend a hand?”

And a Spark of The Spirit ignites the flame of LOVE.

I AM I DO 
Lee Broom

HE OFFERED TO PLANT ME A GARDEN

lee_broom

Recently a friend said to me…

“When I was young I beat my chest about “giving back”; today I give anonymously.

I once voiced group opinion as my own; today my own is my own.

As a young man I learned WHAT to think; today I am more concerned with HOW.

As a young man I jogged, I went to the gym and I rode a bike. I still do those things.

As a young man  I lived within my means; I still do that as well.”

I asked him to lend me some grocery money. He offered to plant me a garden.

And he showed me how to tighten the cable on  my bicycle.

THE AMBULANCE DRIVER


Horace Dixie Broom 1918

 

THE AMBULANCE DRIVER

Jiggsboy called a couple of hours ago and told me about the PBS historical account of the early years of our previous century.

As he spoke, he sparked memories of Horace Dixie Broom, the man who became my father, replacing Robert Lee Oakes Senior, my birth-father, who had left me in charge of my baby brother and my mother Esther Mae Gettings Walton Oakes. He was already in uniform and I was now the Man of the house.

I was two and a half years old at the time and the Japanese had destroyed Pearl Harbor only two days before.

As Jiggsboy (John) returned to continue watching PBS, so did I.

And the things that I had forgotten of my knowledge of the GREAT WAR decades before my birth, returned now to consciousness,

Horace Dixie Broom was my father from 1941 until his death in 1976.  Never in all those years did he speak a single word about his memories of that war, but there were stories told to me by my new Mom, his wife, my Great Aunt Sadie Hannah Marie Oakes Broom.

And there were hundreds of photographs of this brave young man who like hundreds of others from countries everywhere found their own way to Paris France to head off the German soldiers who were destroying everything in their path.

There were no enlistment offices because officially there was no war.

H.D. Broom at age twelve took over the family farm near Bonham TX when his three older brothers and his sister, the only teacher in Bonham, had gone their way.

Soon after this adjustment Dixie was offered yet more decisions when the town physician, his father Dr William Broom, died.

He assisted Mother Broom in selling the farm and took what money he needed to get to Paris. It was young people from everywhere  who gave this war its name.

Dixie’s experience as the youngest son of a Doctor Farmer Scholar suited him somehow to be stationed at the reins of a mule – drawn covered wagon-ambulance which made dozens of daily trips to the front lines and back to an open air hospital for days months  weeks and yes, years, or so I am told.

Though I can’t be certain of his age he was born in 1898 and when he died he was five and a half feet tall. When I finished high-school and left home at age fourteen, I thought often of Daddy Dick, Father, Lovey, the man who as a boy must have looked lie a mere babe and who carried the injured and the dead to relative safety.

What must it have been like for this child-man with  no gun at his side, the man who lived to tell about the horrors of war but never did.