Just a collection of rantings, ravings, thoughts and stories to share with all!

About Me

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Ashville, Ohio, United States
Jim, Jimmy, Uncle Jimmy, Big Jim, Jenks, Bass Viking, River, Riverbread, Dad, Papaw, Grandpa --- Just a few of the monikers I answer to from family and friends.......... I pretty much answer to whatever and have never really been too upset by what anybody has called me.

December 22, 2009

Jim's Fables - The Cornered Rat by Jim Jenkins

Fable of The Cornered Rat

As a young fellow, my friends and I would often go hunting. One of our hunts involved going to the local grain elevator and killing rats. The grain elevator was located right in the center of town. Nobody liked the rats; which were very plentiful; getting full and growing large on the corn and beans often spilled during the unloading and storage of the grains.

While on one of these hunts, I was partnered up with a local fellow, years older than us, who was mentally slow. He usually just nodded instead of talking. We never thought he was smart enough to have a conversation. We headed off, armed with our guns and our flashlights in search of the huge rats, which lived and fattened themselves on the grains. Flashlights were taped to our rifles so we had light as we aimed our guns.

Following him into a building, it seemed obvious we had found the mother lode of all rats. Everywhere I looked; one of these seemingly massive creatures appeared to lurk in a corner of the darkened building. Their eyes reflected back at our lights as they scurried around. The creatures seemed even larger by the coal blackness of the night and the fear of getting bit. Horror stories had been shared with us about getting bit by rabid animals; at a minimum suffering a nasty bite; being subjected to a series of painful shots; or at it’s worst; dying as a result of such an attack from these vicious creatures.

Determined that we had found our hunted prize, I turned and began to close the door behind us, shutting out what little light was creeping into the room from the door opening. I thought it best to trap our prey in the building and not let it out. As the door almost shut and the room grew even darker, the older fellow I was partnered up with began yelling, making all kinds of weird sounds, pushing me out of the way and reopening the door. Fearing he had suffered the worst, I scrambled of the room, back into the evening air, where scared and nervous, I immediately began to question how serious he was hurt. He informed me that he was not hurt. Aggravated, I then asked him why all the noise and demonstration. To that he explained: “Never close the door on a rat. If you close the door, the rat will have no way to get out. The rat will try to fight you to get away. If you leave the door open, instead of fighting you, the rat will do everything he can to try to go out the door and get away. It is better to let the rat get away than to fight the rat and have it bite you.”

With that bit of wisdom shared, we then returned to our hunt, where the door remained open and we successfully hunted the rats without injury. Only later did the events of the evening and his words hold more meaning to me.


In our lives, we all come across our rats, not the furry types, but the human type. They could be a friend, a child, your spouse, a neighbor, a co-worker, an employee or even your boss. When the need for change occurs, sometimes the situation dictates you confront others (your rats) with the need for change! When such a confrontation is necessary, never shut the door, always leaving a dignified opening for them to crawl out of. You can’t dictate change; you can only bring the reason for change to light and allow the other person to make the necessary change. You can’t change people; they must change themselves! Once something is brought to their attention, most people become their own harshest critic and make the change.

Cornering a rat causes it to fight back and bite you; leaving at best a painful wound. Avoid the wounds of confrontation by allowing the rats in your life a way to save their pride and make any necessary changes by always leaving the door open.

December 13, 2009

Why Change, Why Worry by Jim Jenkins

I recently had thoughts about changing me, so I started by making a list
of what I would like to accomplish, what I’ve done and what I have missed.
My list had a column for each of the things I wanted to remember and note.
Thoughts and ideas sprang forward, and became scribbled the faster I wrote.
The list got big very quickly, of things to do and already done in my life.
It included material things like houses and cars and raising two boys with a wife,
my desire for a piece of property, to have quality friends and my health,
I never for one second considered, making a listing for wealth.
My scribbling included relationships, both those current and others long gone;
divorce ended one, death ended others, and with some I maintain a bond.
A listing of people involved in my life, who have made it be what it’s been.
I see some pretty regular, some not at all, and others I’ve not seen for years;
some which I can never see again and those thoughts of them bring about tears.
I scratched down successes I’ve had in this life or still hope to have fore I’m through,
the many ways which I’ve helped others, and more that I’d like to do.
Then I edited my list for what made me happy, when those things happened before.
Most seemed just like a starting point, a place to begin searching for more.
But there were some items which made me contented, and left my face with a smile.
I wondered aloud, why not revisit these things, why has it been such a while;
since I stopped and pondered how good things are and realized how good they could be;
if I only would quit dwelling on the future of things and open my eyes up and see;
Why are we often dissatisfied, dwelling on things we don’t have or things sad?
Why not look at the good that we’ve got, and not always focus on bad?
Though successes in life seem to matter, as a measure of what we’ve all done,
they remain just a way to compare us with others and keep us from having some fun.
So, after much pondering and putting this list together and giving it all of this thought
I’m going to start enjoying the things that I have, and I’ve decided that changing, I’m not !
I’ve come to the conclusion, there’s nothing wrong with me, except losing a pound or two;
which can keep me from having one hell of a life, until my time on this earth is through.
So I will embrace my friends and look for others, and realize many consider me a success.
I just need to relax and quit worrying about things that sometimes have made me a mess.
So, my life is where it was as I began this year, not sure of what this year might be bringing.
But I am going to move forward one day at a time, and to the life that I have, I’ll be clinging.
I’m not going to cry on anyone’s shoulder and burden them with some useless story;
I am just going to enjoy all of that which I have, and until I’m done, Why worry ?

The Coaches Wife by Jim Jenkins

When his day as a coach is just beginning;
when his thoughts have turned to his team winning;
you leave your every day job and head off to your other;
where you handle cooking, cleaning and you are the mother.
You usually have the laundry, the kids and the meals;
you have to be the taxi service for the kids with your wheels.
Each and every day, you take care of the kids and the house
You provide the stability needed, as the coach’s spouse.

Sitting in the stands, sometimes your husband gets cursed;
Pretending not to hear what is said, cruel people are the worst.
You handle it well when somebody gets too harsh and loud;
you look beyond what you hear, you choose to stay proud.
For you accept what coaches do in molding these young men,
as they teach them life’s lessons; as they strive for that win.
You help with what is needed, you do everything you can,
You offer your all, for you’re his number one fan.

After the games, you rush and go straight to your kitchen
And though you are tired, this is not a time for bitchin
Because there is a group that will show up, wanting to eat
And they won’t have anything to feed on if you don’t fix a treat.
You worry each time, is my house presentable and clean;
is there enough to eat, drink, everything in between?
For this becomes your playing field, and most folks cannot tell
The game prep you have done so all this turns out well.

And, when all of this is over, and it is the end of a hectic day;
you still have things to think about, other roles to play.
You may have to soothe his feelings if the game turned out bad;
and avoid making it worse by saying something to make him mad.
You worry about the children and the time you feel is not spent;
and the way they handled all of this as their day has come and went.
But, they are tough and so are you as you handle this type of life;
tomorrow will be another day in the life of a coach’s wife.

December 11, 2009

Family by Jim Jenkins

I’m not one who always takes or makes the time
to show or share with my family just how I feel.
Too often, like others, I get caught up in the things
that I think are important and real.

Life’s reality is, we’re around a very short time;
so, we should more often stop and rethink;
about what is really important in each of our lives;
as too often, it’s gone in a blink.

Because we don’t take the time to say the words,
doesn’t mean that the thought isn’t there.
And, though efforts would be appreciated if we showed one another;
when absent, shouldn’t mean we don’t care.

So, as I take the time to think about each one of you;
I feel very certain, I really do know it;
how much we have all meant to each other,
even though we always don’t show it

We all take comfort in knowing, we can depend on each other;
to be there, when one of us gets down.
Even though we get frustrated when we don’t visit enough;
if we are needed, we’d all be around.

For, we are all the offspring and product of family;
and parents who raised us this way;
they showed us how to care and look out for each other
as we’ve gone about living each day.

So, for all that we do and have done for one another,
let us pledge to continue and strive
to make some time in our lives for each other
for as long as we all are alive.

And when one or even some of us, are no longer here;
when life as we know it has moved on;
we’ll still have our memories, our thoughts of each other;
which means we’ll never be gone.

December 10, 2009

An Ode to Becoming Aged by Jim Jenkins

I never used to think about the day when I would get older.
I didn’t worry if the weather was going to be hot or it was colder.
I listened to music on the radio, but never watched the news.
My time became so precious, I had to organize and choose,
between all the things I wanted to do; but rarely had the time,
as I tried hard to get all of it done; while I was in my prime.
I raised my kids, worked my job and then I could retire.
There’s so much life for you to live before that you expire.
The years flew by so quickly and my age began to show.
I looked around one day and wondered: where did they all go?
My skin had developed wrinkles and I had lost my full head of hair.
People had to start helping me when I got up from a chair.
I had lost the spring I had in my step, so now I could only creep.
I couldn’t get up if I fell down; I couldn’t go to or stay asleep.
I recalled when I was younger, I liked things that gave me quite a thrill,
but as I aged and wanted to have sex, I needed a little blue pill.
All the trips to the bathroom became an experience for me,
as my prostrate swelled and got so big that I could hardly pee.
I took Rolaids for my upset stomach; to see I had to use drops;
to hear; I played my TV so loud, neighbors complained to cops.
It’s hell to get old and suffer with all the afflictions that it brings.
People say I’m grouchy and I can’t remember things.
I raise hell with everybody, even kids walking across my yard.
The little things that I did easily before, they all became so hard.
Although sometimes my memory failed me and my wits were not as keen,
I made my points, debating; about what I thought I’d heard or seen.
I had become so hard to deal with, and from what everyone was saying,
it’s not a question of when, but where, they say that I’ll be staying.
I guess getting older isn’t easy, especially on all my family and friends.
If my behavior drives them all away, who’ll change my Depends?
I didn’t want to become a problem for anybody to deal with in their life.
It’s just that getting older; and its effects; has created all this strife.
I never wanted to become a pain, to have these ravings and these rants.
Nobody ever wants to hear; what’s that smell; did you fill your pants?
When something like this has happened, you just want it to be over;
to be laid to rest where you will ultimately be, underneath the clover.
But when I’m lucid, I have thoughts about it; it makes me pretty sad;
that my life has come full circle from when I was a younger dad.
For now they have their family to worry about and do not need my whine,
It’s just that I used to change their diapers, now their changing mine.