Less Means More…©Rolly A. Chabot

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You might ask what is he talking about. Well I suppose you could call it an “Oxymoron.” (A figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction talking about something.”

Let me explain, lets take a look around your home, dresser drawers, closets and we look at all we have and say I cannot find anything to wear. Less means we have fewer choices, more means we have far to many. I would never suggest you should give away or get rid of what you have. You have worked hard for it and you deserve to have it.

A good example is myself. I was stretching a canvas on a frame to paint a while back. It has been a long while since I painted so of course my industrial stapler had long been stored away in some unknown place. I looked high and low and unable to find it option two came to mind, just buy another. I stopped at the local hardware store only to discover the stapler was now worth 55 dollars. I was tempted but decided I would search more for the one I knew I had. The end result was the fact after sorting through my many boxes of tools I found 5 in total. Less means more again.

When we have too much we forget what we have. It started me on a declutter of what I have. My men friends enjoyed the gifts. I mean I found 2-3 and four of every imaginable tool. I mean 8 tool boxes filled with every tool a man could want. Laying them all out on my garage floor I made up three small sets, the car, the truck and the sailboat all got one suitable for the need they may have. The rest you guessed it given away. Less means more time to enjoy being clutter free.

Another good example is that infamous “Junk Drawer” we all have. Generally they are in the kitchen area. It is the drawer where the unknown lives. I was looking through mine the other day. It is amazing what you can find in there. Keys you have no idea what they are for. Pens which no longer write, that roll of Scotch Tape you have been looking for. A grocery receipt from 4 years ago… do you follow me. We toss things in there just in case we may some day need the what is it for stuff. Once cleaned out “Less means More.” You now have more peace as your life is starting to become more orderly.

We all love books do we not, I have a library it is an 10 by 12 room. On all three sides I have book shelves that fill each wall floor to ceiling. I counted over 850 books, some are treasures, some are great resource books. I would estimate that number to be 100. So why do I keep the other 750. Because I love books does not quite meet the reasoning. The local library will be pleased. I will let them in and they can take what they want. The rest to the thrift store, maybe someone will find something for a dollar and the thrift store can do some good with with that same dollar. Again “Less Means More.” Then I will be free of the clutter.

In my small town recycling means taking all you have set aside and placing into the appropriate bin. The problem being it just keeps adding up. I mean really you may as well have enough to make a good trip for it…right. Well it has changed now to each Monday it goes, no more of this taking up valuable space in the garage. Yet another are those boxes of good stuff you just cannot part with. As often as not the contents have not been looked at in years. You do the math and ask yourself, why keep it? Again “Less Means More.”

As a writer I can be my own worst enemy. Reference books stacked a half a dozen deep. All these printed off articles I intended to read someday and just never found the time to do so. I cleaned out my office a few weeks ago and made myself a promise. After the research is done the book goes back to its respective place. All those papers go to recycle, any articles I want to save now get saved to the desktop on my Mac. Monday becomes my trash day on the computer. Like my office the desktop must stay uncluttered.

After reading this you may think I would be a great candidate for the television series “Hoarders.” Now I know none of you suffer with any of the above but the point of the matter the less I have the more I appreciate what I do have…

As always hugs are attached… the one thing we can never have enough of…

© Rolly A. Chabot

 

 

Wandering The Wilds

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No matter who you are until you have climbed a mountain you have not experienced life to the fullest. Stand on top and view all around you you realize two things. First is the accomplishment and the other is the realization just how small you are.  One as exhilarating as the other but the greatest is your size in comparison to what you see in all directions. This is one of the easier climbs but still amazing, from this view I can map my hike out easily. Putting it in prospective lets just say it was pretty much straight up. 

Life is very much the same really. Obstacles are paced before us and the choice is simple face them head on or skirt around them in hopes you come out ok. The longer the obstacle remains in your path well the more formidable it becomes. I would far sooner stare it i  the eye than allow it to overcome all my senses. 

The wilderness and what it means in my minds eye is a place where we take life on full force. A place where the obvious is standing before you. Mount Placid in the northern reaches of the interior of British Columbia is like that. She will be in your way as long as you let her. Traverse her and you have won the battle. Take anything in life and place it before you and it will be there until you take on the challenge it poses. The longer you wait the longer it will eat away at your inner being. At the time Mount Placid was in my way. There is a section of many creeks where I was doing contract placer mining (Gold) The only accessible means of travel was by helicopter. At 2000 dollars per hour the hike in seemed to be the better option as the ground was unproven. A week and a half later I had to make the same journey back again with some negative results. Other than the fact I had my own experience it was all I came out with.   

Along comes the question why? Well my answer would be why not. I never came out ahead in the financial aspect of things. I did come out in the physical amd mental aspect of it all. You see it was because I did what seemed to be the impossible. I can smile today looking at this peak and I can say, “Yup I beat you Mount Plaid.” It is much the same as adversity in life. What looks to be impossible to face at the time i nothing when you set your mind ahead of what you must accomplish. 

Even though the days of taking on something so massive have passed physically I can smile and say I have conquered much of what appeared impossible. Your mind looks at what seems impossible and yet your heart says that “Limits exist only in your mind.” No matter what you face in live my dear friends the reward of accomplishment will supersede anything. Take the chance at what you face and yiu will come out the other side a far greater person>

Hugs to all …. 

 

© Rolly A. Chabot 

Visual Effects Capture and Hold Us

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There are those days when nature and beauty simply take over your mind and inner being. They hold you captive and give you pure appreciation for what we have around us. This photo was taken a few days ago looking west off my front deck. Painters and artist can never duplicate such a sight we see through our eyesight. Our vision is precious it allows us to stand in awe of what is before us. I have suffered for several years with Glaucoma, the left eye has been damaged to the point of losing 50% of my vision. I recently had cataract surgery on the left eye, the right eye scheduled for surgery on the 31 of this month. I must admit I am a little reluctant as I will have to rely far more on the left eye for a time. Hopefully after this is all over I will be able to see sights such as this with clarity. 

These past several years I have been looking at people in a more personal level. Seeking out what makes them beautiful and radiant. In doing so I have discovered what I see deep within outweighs the faults which we all find so easy to attach to others. What I have found it is those same faults I see in myself. Yet we fail to accept we have them. It is that perception we come squeaky clean yet in all honesty when we look in the mirror… well we have warts as well. 

There is a reason we have been given mirrors. There are going to be times when we see things we not like. There of course will be those times when we are radiant. I once read a book years ago that suggested we tape a sheet of paper on the mirror. Each day take a long hard look at yourself. Find a fault, then find the good and record it on the paper. The author suggested working on the fault as well as the good. His claim is eventually the good will win. What I had taken from it is doing the same with others and soon you see only the good… as always Hugs are attached… 

 

©Rolly A. Chabot

Wandering the Bull River

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This has been a year of many memorable fishing trips which started in November last year. British Columbia my neighbouring Province has some of the most incredible scenery, fishing but always open  for visitors. Its greatest asset is the people, so gracious are they and willing to share their part of the world with whom ever happens along. 

Recently I had the opportunity to drive into an area so 70 miles back into its depths to a place known as Tanglefoot in the Sheepfoot mountain range. The Bull River is what is called a Classified Area. This meaning only a limited number of fisherman are allowed entry. The cost was prohibitive, especially considering I am a Non Resident. That set aside I would go back at the drop of a hat. 

The bull River is the home of the Cutthroat Trout an amazing fish to withstand the forces of the river. Access to the pools where they live is not for the fainthearted. This river will show you its strength the very second you test it. The fishing is well worth the challenges it offers, once you are hooked into it’s offerings all else slowly fades away. A human in an element where all your cares fade. The scenery is breathtaking and the area is steeped in history.

In the early 1900’s as the Canadian Railway was being built it was the area timber was cut and railways ties were made. Then floated down river to be distributed. Again keeping in mind the river itself changes from slow to a raging torrent in places. From the history I have been able to learn through a book published called “Ties to Water” it took real men to do this daunting task. In total there were 42 camps set up along the way. Each new camp working through the giant timbers to maintain keeping the ties moving. In places man made flumes were built to bypass major water falls. There are still many remnants left today. The particular area I was in is known as Tanglefoot Camp 6, it was one of the main camps which became the supply depot for the remaining camps up river. All provisions needed to be brought in by packhorse on some very sketchy and unsafe trails. It is said one place known as Dead Horse Gulch has the bones of a 100 or more horses. I hiked a few miles up river and found many small artifacts. None are allowed to be taken and must be left as found.  

As the area was opened there was found to be gold and many other precious metals so it became a hub of activity. Even today if you are willing to work a gold pan and shovel traces of gold can be found. Freezing cold waters limit your time in the river. I did manage to get baptized in a rather unceremonious way the last day I was there. I slipped on a rock in about 3 feet of water and went head first to my hands and knees. Funny thing is I am certain God has a sense of humour as a fish decided my fly looked tasty and took it. If you get the picture I can assure you the water is but a few degrees above freezing. 

Thankfully my chest waders are of good quality. There is a reason they come with a tight fitting belt around the waist. If not they would have filled and I would have floated away. Some water managed to get inside, in the fall of the year without a great deal of sun the late afternoon fishing ended early that day. 

Needless to say I will be back, so steeped in history and it offers so much to the avid outdoorsman. I am thinking of hiking the entire length from Camp 1 to Camp 42 some 56 miles of rough terrain. Beauty beyond measure, solitude beyond silence and most important, humbling beyond belief reminding a man just how small he truly is….   

© Rolly A. Chabot

Winter Musings

I read a quote the other day I found on an old gaming PC I built several year ago. In todays world it would be a relic I suppose. It still runs on Windows XP occasionally I turn it on just to play, ok so there is still a little youth left in this old cat.

I cannot recall if I wrote the quote or I found it and kept it but it caught me in such a way I felt the need to share it with you.

“Worry is nothing more than a trickle of fear running through your mind. Fail to give it over to God or deal with it and eventually it cuts a rut so deep it will drain all other thoughts away.”

Fear is certainly an enemy, it can manifest all sorts of emotions, doubt, anxiety, stress , etc. Or any of the above can bring on fear or an unsettling feeling deep within. Allow any to take hold in your mind and you have the beginnings of a much greater problem later. Fear can be our immediate response to danger once we have experienced an event we will never forget it.

In all of my years working and living in the far north in Canada I have experienced fear at such a level. Today just a flashback of that memory evokes an immediate jolt from deep within. Let me paint you a visual image. I had been dropped into this region by helicopter with all my gear. It was some two hundred miles from nowhere in the wilderness and a 7 foot Grizzly Bear stands on his hind legs 20 feet from me. That brings on an adrenaline rush that stays with you. He was so close you can smell his breath. Your immediate response is to run… right!, fear will make you do exactly that. As if you are not already being eyed as a meal, running will make you fair game in the eyes of the bear. Now from the bears viewpoint I must have been a strange looking meal. This skinny thing standing there with a bright yellow canoe on his shoulders. You can read all the books you want on bears and the harrowing tales of bear encounters. But the best you will ever hear, see or read is the one you write at that very moment. Now obviously I must have done something right as I am still here. Even though I had a rifle I stood perfectly still calculating in my mind if I would have time to take aim and fire. The odds were not in my favour. The bear dropped on all fours, began ripping at the ground, growled at me again. His eyes burned into mine, with one large swipe at the ground marking his territory again, he turned and walked a few feet away stopped again looked back and slowly sauntered away. I was a very lucky man that day.

Which begs the question, how do you deal with fear? After such a chance meeting as I had I came to the conclusion I was but a guest in the bears world. I gave that old boy as large a birth as he needed. Did it change my desire to venture back into these regions? No but it was that moment of fear that taught me too be ever aware of my surroundings. That same fear could have gone in the complete and opposite direction had I allowed it to occupy that space in my mind. The final words of the quote, “It will drain your mind of all other thoughts.”

Each of us deal with our emotions differently. I see so many people today who are operating on the very edge of an emotional thread. I have been there many times myself. I truly believe we all have the desire to strive ahead rather than allow worry to control our lives.

I do hope that all of us have the strength and courage to defeat those emotions which can and will take over if you allow them a pathway to enter. Know that you are dearly loved and grab ahold of this virtual (((((( HUG )))))

©Rolly A. Chabot