Amy's Landscape

Views from the Florida Landscape

ORANGE ATTITUDE

The heady perfume of spring orange blossoms came wafting along the morning breeze to envelope and intoxicate me.  Its alluring scent drew me daily until I could no longer resist and with nippers in hand I gathered the fragrant blossoms with abandon.   Vases throughout my home dispensed the captured aroma for days afterward.

 

But with every flower I cut, there would be one less orange to enjoy in its time.  For at the heart of every  tender blossom resided the beginning of one tiny, green, orb that if nurtured patiently instead of sacrificed for a momentary pleasure would in time produce the sweetest of fruits.  I could not have my orange and smell it too.  I would not capture that aroma to fill my home in spring and still have my orange’s sweet nectar in winter.

 

How often we trade in greater reward we could have because we refuse to wait, to develop the patience we need for the better pay off.  Entitlement and impatience seem the order of our day.  We must have it now, lacking the ability to count the cost and when the bill comes due it must be someone else’s fault.

 

Mine was a generation from a cold era, the first where divorce came out of the closet and into the norm.  Our parents didn’t connect their freedom to abandon the family with a toll on us and we suffered the loss as walking wounded, bent on bandaging it by way of smothering our children with all the affection and attention left wanting in our own souls.  And so we did.

 

This generation grew up being told they could do anything, they were the most special generation ever.  Every child got a ribbon and award, no matter how poorly they did, how little talent they possessed or effort they put in, in that particular arena.

 

Baby felt special indeed, but in our generation of parents, it went over the wall.  We felt compelled to give Baby the best our money could buy.  Money equated to love and we bought it for Baby in record quantities, passing on a mentality that Baby should have it and have it NOW.

 

Baby morphed into teens who had to have the newest at all times and marketers were only too happy to oblige, creating fresher items destined for obsolescence in six months’ time, creating an ever-increasing appetite for ever-changing items.

 

It became easier for this generation’s parents to pass out a $20 or a new ‘i’ whatever than to say no and hold the line.  These entitled brats became college students who didn’t necessarily earn the grades but demanded the place, and used college loans to buy their way through in style, told by my generation that they’d be making huge sums the moment they exited college, because after all, they were so special. But we hadn’t had the guts to tell our kids no, or to pull up their pants.  We dared not teach them that piercings and tattoos don’t fly in the adult world, and when they graduated, it turned out they weren’t so special out there, as they’d been lead to believe they would be.

 

Oddly, my generation’s mentality would poise itself to eat their generation alive, because we grew up hearing ‘read the fine print’ and their generation grew up scanning, moving ever faster on the quest for more.

 

Few of them took responsibility to read the fine print on their student loans or car loans or home loans.  Now their student loans have ballooned, mortgages are foreclosed and prospective employers pass them over as immature caricatures of reality TV due to their inability to dress or act appropriately in a given situation or the realm of business.

 

These child adults don’t get it and they don’t know why the world has turned against them.  The world is giving them the spanking we refused to, teaching them that there really are unchangeable laws of the universe, and that the sun, sadly to them, does not revolve around their wants and desires.  I wonder what the backlash will be for the next generation because we taught this one to pick the blossom, without teaching them the rewards of patience, of waiting long enough to reap the orange.

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March 10, 2012 Posted by | Florida Outdoors, Landscaping, Life, Nature, Parenting, Random, Relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Assassins in the In-Box

Funny, the spam software didn’t catch it.  As a follower of Christ the subject line, “Your life has been bought” or something like that, caused me to pause.  Perhaps it was an inspiration from a friend, a reminder of that great Love; I took a spare moment to look.

What a lovely bit of news:  it was from an assassin, saying they had been hired to snuff me out but,  for a price, of course, they just might be able to avert the hit!

Really busy that morning with no time for this nonsense, I almost tapped ‘delete’, then caught myself and stopped to think it through a bit.

It was obviously nothing to take serious, sent to me and a zillion other people.  The added pictures of an AK-47, bullets and a broken window were probably stock clip-art.

But what if someone else took it seriously?  Why was it something to chuckle about and delete, that someone entered my house via the in-box to threaten my life, when it would be something to call the police about if I’d received it by way of regular mail or if this crank came to my door saying this?

The more I mulled it, the more I knew I’d been chosen (by God, not this cracked pot) to receive this e-mail for a wider purpose.  What if I had an opportunity to help others and I junked this thing out of impatience?

As usual, I was thinking too much but OK, in I dove.  The day had taken an adventurous turn, and I was game, but where should one go from here?

The first call was to my local Sheriff’s Department.  They kept looping me to voice mails that looped me back to the receptionist.  In frustration, I asked her what to do and after a few questions she finally asked, ‘are you in the city limits?’ and referred me to my city police.

It was a little disturbing to find when I called, they really didn’t know what to, except the receptionist said they could send out an officer…  I didn’t need an officer; I just wanted someone in authority to know about it, maybe ask for the information so they could track the IP address from this nut, which should be simple for SOMEONE to do in the 21st Century!

Anyway, after enough of that I just listed them at  spam@uce.gov  , wrote my assassin an e-mail back and here’s what I said:

Hello,

I have contacted the Police Department, our county Sheriff’s Economic and Computer Crimes division and I’ve listed you on www.spam.gov  so you’re in the national database as a spammer and will be tracked. 

As a follower of Christ I believe in his love for me and that he has paid for my life by coming here to take my place and pay for the ways I’ve rebelled against God throughout my lifetime.  God gave me my life and Jesus paid for it, so he owns it.  He, and only he, can take it, and he is welcome to do it any time, any way, any place, because it’s his.  You have no power to.

I am praying for you now.  God knows where you are, and exactly what you are doing right this minute.  He loves you, just as you are at this moment.  He has better things for you to do with the life he gave you.  Right now, you can close your eyes, ask Jesus Christ to forgive you for everything you’ve done that is wrong, and you can start a new life, one that makes you feel like a real human being, one that brings honor to God and those that love you, and one that gives you an eternal home once this life is over.  It doesn’t matter what you’ve done with your life up to this point, you can start fresh today.  I hope you will take this moment to redirect the path your life is on. 

We will all die someday.  I know where I am going and with whom I will spend eternity.  Do you?  Write me again if I can be of service to you.

Then, I quit all the drama for a moment and just prayed for the person.  There was a real someone behind this silliness, and God had used the Internet to have us intersect in this unique way.  I really felt like this was a call, and I answered it; what fun to be part of this odd thing and God was in it, somehow.

Just for entertainment I copied the whole thing and sent it to some associates for a chuckle and a heads up in case they got it too.  One of them got back to me with some very useful information:

Turns out the FBI does track these threatening e-mails and needs them to be reported so they can.  While most people just delete these as obvious scams, it’s important to report them because some people are terrified and financially hurt by them.   http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx  is the place to file a report.  They do track the IP address of these people and prosecute.

IC3’s mission is to give victims a convenient and easy way to report these incidents, and to refer complaints about cyber-crime to the proper law enforcement and regulatory agencies that have the jurisdiction for tracking them.  It’s important to keep the e-mail, receipts, whatever you have associated with the incident and report as much as you can about it.

I learned there had been similar scams that circulated targeting dentists; several of them had really taken the threat seriously, even making contact with the posing assassins to give the deposit required to ward off the hit.  It had originated in Moscow!

All in all, another interesting morning here in beautiful Florida…

February 2, 2012 Posted by | God, God in the everyday, Life, Random, Relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment