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It's not a forest, but it will do

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By W.B. Evans

Bless Pete, I’m suffering from Osama bin Laden overload.

It’s kinda like having to unfasten your britches due to that last piece of pie you just had to have.

Right now, I’ve had my fill when it comes to reading, watching, hearing and talking about the demise of Osama bin Laden.

Now, the very first reports about him sure seemed like the kind of heroic story old veterans like me yearn for. 

The Twin Towers mastermind was finished off in a way that befit his own lifestyle (see Matthew 26:52). 

What’s bothering me is how those who use ink for a living (not me, I’m “retired”) and newscasters have the urge to add their two cents worth. They just gotta express their own version of that military mission. 

Isn’t that something, that so many different folks sitting on their behinds watching television or reading weird cyberspace comments have come up with their own eyewitness look at what really happened on a dark night on the other side of the globe?

The confusion from our intelligence community adds to the weird tales being circulated.

I guess folks like me just need to stick our heads in the sand and hope for the air to clear. 

Since I never liked sand in my hair, I figured out how to sorta get away for a while.

Now, when you are retired, a while can seem like a long time. I decided to slip off a while for a quiet, peaceful walk.

Out back, across from the pasture (which is no longer a pasture since nothing out there is mooing or grazing) is a forest.

Well, to be honest, it’s not really a forest, although there are a good many pines, hickory nuts, maples and scrub oaks to qualify it as woods.

Stepping around a whole lot of those vines with three little leaves, I found a mossy covered spot beneath a very large oak and sat down. 

No newspaper, no television or no laptop computer with access to the whole wide word. You might say it was just me and my thoughts.

I pushed concerns about getting a contractor to repair the damage from the recent hailstorm and winter leaves piled and scattered over the yard into that part of my brain which stores information.

I’ll fret over whether bin Laden is really in Davy Jones’ Locker another day.

With a gentle breeze rustling overhead leaves and the sounds of Charlotte Road traffic muffled, my thoughts raced back through the years like the pages of a school book left on the front porch during a windstorm.

With my eyes closed, I visualized Main Street with all its familiar storefronts from the days of my youth. 

For some reason my thoughts weren’t on the picture show, the dime stores or the Corner Drug Store. 

The image of Parr Brothers Fine Furniture was clear as a bell. Well, to be more specific, I started thinking about the trash bins behind the store where empty cardboard appliance cartons were tossed awaiting the trash man or sometimes that little boy with the red wagon. 

I was completely in another world of long ago memories where my only pressing problem was transporting  cargo down White Street onto Chesterfield Avenue and down the driveway to the back of our house.

Thoughts of Pakistan, Al-Qaeda, Navy SEALs and pictures of a bearded dead terrorist disappeared. 

Shucks, back in those days of hauling cardboard, I doubt if anybody around these parts had ever heard of Pakistan. 

My mind was engrossed on transforming smooth sheets of stiff cardboard into my very own Sherman tank or into a Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighter plane like George Welch flew at Pearl Harbor.

I was having such a good time that I was oblivious to the Carolina blue skies slowly getting gray. The gentle breeze changed directions, blowing in from the direction of Shiloh ARP Church. Small drops of moisture starting to pitter-pat on the leaf canopy overhead brought me back to reality. 

Then, as those raindrops increased in size and quantity, those old memories were quickly erased. 

I gotta get home and out of the downpour, I thought.

I was pretty wet by the time I made it to the carport. 

But I wasn’t disappointed; for a few minutes – maybe no more than an hour  – all my concerns were forgotten.

You know, I gotta start walking in the forest, well, woods, a little more often.