Gone But Not Forgotten

In today’s challenge, show us what “gone, but not forgotten” means to you. It could be a photo of a faithful canine friend who’s chasing squirrels in a better place, a spot in your city, town, or village that reminds you of a relationship now over, a talisman that reminds you of something that you can never get back, a photo of you in your smashing 70s silver lamé jumpsuit, or the crumbs that remain from the delicious cheesecake you baked.Photo Challenge

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For this week’s photo challenge I’m posting about my beloved dog Rudi. She recently passed away after several years of being my best dog. You can disregard my portion of the picture. This was before I lost a lot of weight through weight loss surgery and I was obviously having a bad hair day. But it’s my favorite picture of Rudi.

We got her from a pet rescue adoption at a local pet store. We already had two smaller dogs and had visited the store to pick up some supplies for them. My wife saw her and fell in love with her. While I certainly thought she was cute I was not really interested in having a third dog. We already had two, why would we need a third?

We took her home with us anyway. Since I was the one who wasn’t really interested in having her to start with she immediately took a very strong liking to me. She had to go everywhere I went. Laying on the couch next to me, sharing the bed with me, and anywhere else she could possibly go with me. Of course with her never leaving my side it didn’t take long for a strong attachment to form.

She was scared of people she didn’t know. Probably from her situation prior to being rescued. I tried taking her for a walk around the block shortly after getting her. We got about half way around the block and then she started shivering and refused to move. I ended up carrying her the other half the way back home. It was a good workout since she was probably close to 60 pounds!

She was very protective of her yard and house. Every day for all the years we had her the mailman would come around the same time. Even though this happened six days a week she always was in a hurry to run to the door barking her head off. If she could get into the dining room or to an open door and saw someone walking down the street she was sure to alert everyone. She also was very vocal about letting neighbor dogs know they weren’t welcome on her property. We have a privacy fence so they can’t see into the yard but that didn’t stop her.

After another of our dogs passed we added an additional dog. Another lab we took in from some friends who could no longer keep him. She was not happy about the addition. We tried keeping them apart for a little bit so they could get used to smelling each other. Eventually we decided we would try letting them together supervised in the backyard with Rudi on a leash. Almost immediately upon seeing the new dog she lunged at her and scared the new dog so much she jumped into our inground pool in the middle of winter. It was a slow start but eventually the two dogs became the best of friends.

I could always count on Rudi being the first greeter at the door when I returned home. Almost as if she knew what time I would be home and was all set to show me how much she missed me. Although she was never as interested in playing fetch as our other dogs were she would always atleast humor me by going and chasing the ball or stick and bringing it back to me. She just would refuse to drop the ball or stick so I could not throw it again in order to make her go fetch it again. She was a smart, loyal, loving dog.

It’s been about a month now since Rudi has passed. I know she is in a much better place and much happier now. I look forward to the day when I get greet her again and allow her to show me how much she has missed me. The lab left behind misses her too. She seems very lonely by herself and has taken to replacing Rudi on the couch next to me or sleeping with me at night. I love the comfort and love the dog shows me but I still have a great deal of sadness over Rudi no longer being by my side. I have had dogs in the past but never a dog I got so close to.

In time I am sure that sadness will depart. I will never forget however.

 

Posted in Dogs, Relationships, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Conquering a Doubt

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“If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere,” goes the famous song about New York City. Is there a place — a city, a school, a company — about which you think (or thought) the same? Tell us why, and if you ever tried to prove that claim.Daily Post

I don’t know that this really fits into the make it there, make it anywhere theme. But it still falls within the bounds of the topic I think. And if it doesn’t, oh well. Who cares. :)

In high school I was always the student who could get good grades with little to no effort. I never had homework that I actually had to do at home because I always finished it at school. I never had to study because I just remembered what was gone over in class. Yet I was always making good grades and was on the honor roll.

I graduated high school and started into the local four year university in the fall of that year. Things didn’t go so well at the university. I did poorly in my classes, probably completing fewer classes than I actually did finish. Those I did complete I did not complete as well as I was expecting. I only lasted a few semesters at the university before I decided it was not for me.

A year or two later I started attending the local community college. I did great in those classes. Again, very little time had to be spent on homework outside of class and very little studying had to be done. I was flying through the classes and aceing them without any problems. It was like it was high school all over again.

So the question became was community college so much easier than the four year university? What other answer could there possibly be? I wasn’t sure but I kept wondering to myself if I had what it took to complete classes at a four year university. Or was it just to tough for me?

Well, as it turned out I got my chance to find out. In my job a lot of the promotions I was interested in required having a bachelors degree or to atleast be working towards one. Even though I felt having a piece of paper showing you completed a degree was overrated and unnecessary in many cases, if I wanted to advance I needed to conquer the four year university.

My employer had an agreement with another four year university which allowed you to pay a small deposit upfront and then pay the remainder of the tuition at the end of the semester once you were reimbursed. I took advantage of this and enrolled at another four year university to get my bachelors degree. The whole time I found myself wondering if I would be able to complete the work or if it would be a struggle like my previous attempt at a four year university was.

Much to my surprise I found this attempt to be much different from the first attempt. I breezed through the classes with little effort required. I ended up with a B in only one class. The last semester and a half was accomplished with a newborn at home while working a full time job and going to school full time. I was amazed at the difference and relieved that I was actually able to complete the coursework so easily. I had answered my question about whether or not I could handle a four year university.

In looking back on the original experience where I was not successful, I don’t think it is necessarily about how tough the classes were. I think in hindsight I wasn’t truly ready for college. Not everyone is ready for college immediately out of high school. I went because it was what was expected.

And I enjoyed the college experience, but not for the classes and work. I enjoyed the friends and people I knew and met. I enjoyed hanging out in the computer lab. I enjoyed the prestige one feels with being in college, being grown up and out of high school. But it takes more than that to succeed in college. It takes study skills which I had not learned in high school because I had no need for them.

Do I think I could go back to that original four year university and succeed now? Yes, I do. Does that mean I think I could make it at any college? Maybe. I’m a pretty confident person and like to think I am smart enough to keep up. But I think I may be a little out of my league if I tried to go to Harvard or Yale or some other prestigous Ivy League school like that. Especially if I tried to do it while working full time and having a family at the same time.

 

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The Table With Poor Self Worth

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If your furniture, appliances, and other inanimate objects at home had feelings and emotions, to which item would you owe the biggest apology?Daily Post

The inanimate object that I would owe the biggest apology to would be our dining room table. All it wants to do is to be loved for it’s talent and skills and yet it goes totally unnoticed.

We have owned this beautiful and sturdy dining room table for many years and all we do is conveniently ignore it as if it does not exist. Sure, we walk through the dining room and glance at it’s beauty from time to time. But do we give it a second thought? Of course not. On top of that it is in a room we keep mostly closed off so it is constantly chilly throughout the winter. So not only forgotten, but also very cold!

Sure, we will take pity on it and eat dinner on it once every six months or so. And of course we use it for special occasions such as Christmas Day dinner. But usually we use our much less beautiful and smaller kitchen table since there are only three of us and it is after all right there in the kitchen where all the cooking is done.

That dining room table must be awfully jealous and have a severe case of very low self esteem and self worth based on how often we ignore it. It’s a good thing inanimate objects are not capable of hurting themselves because otherwise we might have a case of a table suicide.

Occasionally we might use it to put together a puzzle but only because we know the puzzle will be able to be there for a couple weeks without us having to move it or having to try to eat around it. And it does serve an excellent place for me to put together my picture frames at the end of each sports season. Obviously it’s helpful to have room to spread out the frames and letters I need without having to worry about having to have it done in a couple hours in time for dinner.

The poor dining room table only wants to be able to show us how well it can do the job it was meant for, that of holding and serving us nice, quiet family dinners. And yet we keep refusing to let it do it’s job.

If it was not an inanimate object I imagine it would probably give us a good piece of it’s mind as it was on it’s way out the door to some other family who could show it the love it truly deserves!

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Advice You Would Not Share

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What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received that you wouldn’t give to anyone else? Why don’t you think it would apply to others?Daily Post

This topic was hard for me at first. I couldn’t figure out why I would not pass on good advice I had received to someone else. Then I decided to make it specific advice and make it someone specific and not just a generality.

I overheard a conversation at work of someone talking about someone they know planning a wedding and the cost of the wedding. They were saying how they would advise the person to not worry about a big fancy wedding and use that money instead on a wonderful trip.

This brought to mind some advice I had regularly heard people share and advice which had been given to me in the past. Then I thought of my daughter and how would I ever give her the same advice if I ever decide she is allowed to date. And that brought me to this post.

When my wife and I were planning on getting married friends frequently gave the advice that we should just elope. The money could be saved and spent on a fun honeymoon or vacation. The friends said the wedding was more for show and for friends and family and less for us.

My wife was all for the idea. Myself I was more interested in having an actual wedding and ceremony. I just thought it would be fun to have all our family and friends present for such a special day in our lives. In the end we ended up eloping to Las Vegas. We had a nice little wedding in Vegas and spent a lot of time enjoying the town.

My mom was unhappy but other than that nobody else seemed to be upset about it. We did have fun in Vegas and saved a lot of money on the actual wedding itself. And we were legally married. So it all worked out.

For our 10th wedding anniversary my wife surprised me by having a surprise renewal of our wedding vows with friends and family present in our church. It was nice and special because our friends and family were there. Our daughter also got to be present. She obviously would not of been present at the original wedding so that was an additional benefit. I guess you could say we both got what we wanted.

However, when I ask myself if I would give my own daughter that advice the answer is a resounding NO! While it is true it is cheaper it is also true that I want her to have the best possible wedding. And I certainly want to be there to walk her down the aisle and hand her over. It will be an emotional day but it’s definitely something I want to do.

If she were to say she wanted to elope like we did then I would consider it and even probably give in since I ultimately want her to be happy. But I think in the end I would feel like I was missing out on something.

What about you? Is there advice you have been given you would not give someone else?

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Lessons Learned From Coaching

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For this week’s challenge, I invite you to breathe new life into the established genre of the end-of-year countdown list.Daily Post Weekly Challenge

The weekly writing challenge was to come up with some sort of list or count down. I decided to make a list of 10 lessons I have learned from coaching youth sports.

I’m in my third year of coaching youth sports at our local Y. I started with baseball when my daughter was 4 years old. Since then I have also coached soccer, basketball, and flag football. Often times multiple age groups at the same time. I have found that even now there are often times where I learn new things during each round. Sometimes about myself, sometimes about the sport, sometimes about the kids. It’s one of the things that makes it so much fun.

So without further delay, here is my list in no particular order.

  1. Soccer is a fun game - When I was a kid I played baseball every summer and football every fall. I would of played basketball during the winter if I could but it was pretty obvious early on that basketball was not my game. I was good early on because I grew tall quicker than all the other kids my age but once I lost the height advantage that was it. I always considered soccer to be the game that girls and boys who were not tough enough to play football played. Now that I have had a few years of coaching soccer I have learned otherwise and it has turned out to be my favorite sport to coach. Almost anyone can play soccer regardless of skill level. In other sports you are almost always at some point the sole center of attention. In soccer you can always blend in with all the other players unless you are the goalie. You aren’t up at bat showing off how terrible you are at hitting or taking a wide open shot in basketball showing how terrible you aim is. It’s also the easiest game to come up with fun practice games and drills which keep the kids continually active and having fun. That is important if you want to keep order and keep them enjoying the game.
  2. You don’t have to be an expert to coach - When I first coached my daughter’s 3&4 year old soccer team I knew absolutely nothing about the game of soccer outside of the goal being to kick the ball into the other team’s net without using your hands. Beyond that the rules were foreign to me. I had no clue what drills to use to try and teach the game. So I did what anyone would do. I went to the library and got the book Coaching Soccer for Dummies. I looked over the book but found many of the drills and skills in the book were way beyond what I could possibly expect 3&4 year olds to be able to comprehend. Later I found lots of helpful websites and blogs via Google searching but that wasn’t in time for the first season. But it turned out it didn’t matter. I found that as long as you go out there and have fun the kids love it. And that is the important thing. Obviously, I would probably have needed more knowledge for the older kids but that came with time and many google searches. Even in sports I felt qualified to coach I found the first season through I still felt like I was missing something or not doing a good job.
  3. Baseball can truly be a boring game – I always pictured baseball being my favorite sport to coach. I love the game and all the strategy behind it. But I learned it’s a truly boring game for young kids. I have taken to calling it the “hurry up and wait” sport. We get the kids out to their positions on the field then they have to patiently wait for the ball to be hit to them. In the young ages, this hardly ever happens unless you are the pitcher or the first baseman who everyone throws to when they get the ball. Young kids  have a short attention span and get restless very quickly and that’s when trouble can begin! I still love watching the game and playing softball but it can be very challenging for the younger kids to play in the field.
  4. Kind words can truly make a difference – After the first season of coaching 3&4 year old baseball I was truly discouraged by the experience. I had signed up to be an assistant coach so I could see what the coaches did and know what to expect for future sports. At the first practice there was another assistant coach and a head coach. Second practice suddenly I was the only one. I felt lost and like I had no clue what to do out there. By the end of the season I felt like I hadn’t taught the kids anything more than what they already knew. Several of the kids had issues with getting restless while in the field and at that point I felt that was a reflection on how I was not doing a good job. My daughter told me she didn’t want me to coach because after a few games of the season she still had not been named Player of the Week when other kids had. I went to the last game of the season not knowing if I would coach another sport and thinking maybe icoaching just wasn’t for me. Yet after the game was over and the kids had gotten their medals they all were so happy and excited to have played. And more importantly almost all the parents came up and thanked me for coaching and told me what a great job I had done. I’m sure that was just them being kind but I will never know. One of the parents even said I had done such a good job they were going to look to see if I was coaching the following year and have their kid on my team again. That kid did not return to my team the following year but all the kind words and happy faces on the children made my decision for me. I was hooked.
  5. Parents can get upset with their child based on what they think other parents think – I include myself in this category. Coming from the non-competitive arena such as the Y this is not so much about talent or competitiveness but more about how they participate or don’t take the game seriously. Especially in the younger ages, kids may not want to play or decide to play ring around the rosie instead of soccer or baseball. Parents think this makes them look like they lack control or discipline over their child and get embarassed by that, therefore threatening or yelling at their kid. This make a less then fun experience for the child. I felt this embarassment with my own daughter because I was afraid parents would think I was forcing her to play because I wanted her to or because I wanted to coach a sport just to feel good about myself. She has since grown out of this for the most part (although being almost 7 now she still is a kid and has her moments) so it’s no longer an issue for me but it certainly helps me understand where other parents are coming from in the same situation. It is common place on the younger teams that it’s going to happen with a player or two, sometimes more. Doesn’t mean they lack discipline or that the kid doesn’t want to be there. They just are still learning and adjusting to realizing they need to pay attention to the task at hand. As long as they are not putting themselves or others in danger it’s not the end of the world. They are just trying to have fun while being out there.
  6. Not every practice is going to go smoothly - As a coach I always go into a practice with a pretty good idea of what I want to do. Sometimes this goes according to plan. Sometimes it does not. I’ve found that not every drill or game I’ve done works well with every team or even with the same team at two different practices. I’ve also learned that just because kids want to do a certain drill it doesn’t mean it’s going to work well. Monkey in the middle is a great example. Every soccer team always wants to do the drill but I think I have only done it once where I felt it accomplished anything productive so I avoid it for the most part. I’ve found the key is to have a backup plan and not be afraid to quickly and calmly abandon a drill if it seems obvious it’s not working well. This happens mostly when I try new drills but sometimes even with established drills I have done in the past. Even with a plan in place, there are times where I have ended a practice and felt like I had not had a good practice. Felt that the kids had not learned anything. That I looked unprepared or like I had no clue what I was doing out there. But I always remember it’s the result as a whole that matters, not an individual game or practice.
  7. Kids may not necessarily need to win but they need to feel competitive - Coming from a Y setting we don’t keep standings or award championships and trophies. Most games we don’t even keep an actual score but starting at about 5 or 6 years old the kids usually know at the end of the game who won and by how much. While they are okay at losing as long as they had fun there is a point where they realize when they are truly on the losing end by a lot that they no longer have fun. I think this was probably most evident for me after one of my older teams basketball games. The first question I always ask after each game is did you have fun? Usually kids all enthusiastically respond with yes and mean it. After one particular basketball game where we only scored 2 points the whole game I asked the question and got a very forced and unenthusiastic yes from a couple of the players and silence from the rest. Being a competitive personality myself I was already feeling bad for them but this made a large impact. It led me to be more aware of not just making sure each kid is getting equal playing time but also trying to group them in a way that allows us to have the best chance at working together. This can be difficult at times but the reward for it is well worth it. It has also provided me with the insight that when on the other end of a large winning margin to make sure to not keep letting the strongest players play in a position where they can continue to increase the margin and therefore make the other team feel bad.
  8. Practices can be fun - Most ideas of practice are of laps being ran, whistles being blown, terse orders being barked, etc. Endless mundane dribbling around and through cones. Teams scrimmaging against each other. While scrimmaging can be fun for the better players, the less skilled players have less fun because just like in games they don’t get as many touches as the more skilled players. I will still scrimmage if another coach asks me to help them out in that way but otherwise I try to avoid it. I think fun practices where each kid gets to touch the ball multiple times are more beneficial to the whole group. Keeping the kids active and engaged with touches on the ball is a better benefit towards allowing them to improve their skills. So many childhood games can be converted to soccer practice games to help accomplish this. Freeze tag, simon says, red light green light, relay races, and more. Doesn’t mean there isn’t dribbling around cones in practice, but it can be far from boring and mundane. I generally enjoy practices more than games and I think some of the kids would agree. I see kids who never miss a practice and are always upbeat and excited at practice. However once game time comes along they miss 2 or 3 games or never really seem to have the same excitement and fun during the game as they do during practice. Granted, some of this comes from the lesser skilled players who don’t get as much time and touches with the ball during the game as they do in practice. Bottom line – you have to make practice fun in order for the max improvement of skills for everyone.
  9. Always try to coach to the individual, not necessarily to the group as a whole – Sure, there are certain things you have to teach as a whole to a team. But don’t automatically assume all players should be at the same level just because they are the same age or have the same amount of experience. Some players you simply want to be happy to encourage to successfully dribble the ball. Others have that mastered and you want to encourage them to add a little hustle to it successfully without losing control. Then even others have that down and you want to encourage them to dribble without looking at the ball. If you try to coach to the same level for all you run the risk of losing some kids because the drill is too easy and others because it is too hard. If you lose the kids then they aren’t improving on their skills and you are doing a disservice to them. It can be challenging to keep all players in a place where they constantly are improving but the most rewarding processes are usually the more challenging ones.
  10. Show them love – This is probably the most important lesson. When I ended up as the sole coach on that first baseball team I posted on Facebook about how I was afraid I didn’t know what I was doing. One simple comment from a friend summed it all up: “Show them love and you’ll be fine.” And it turned out to be so true. It’s about more than teaching them a sport. It’s about showing each individual they are special. Taking the time to get to know them for who they are. Sure, you want to teach the fundamentals and basics of the sport. You want them to have fun and improve. But to really make an impression I think you have to make the individual connection. I always take the time at each practice to ask what fun thing that have done since the last time I saw them. Encourage them and cheer them on, not only in the sport but in life in general. They love to share what is going on in their lives, they are just simply looking for someone who is willing to listen! I like when I feel like they have opened up and decided I am one of those people they want to share with. Some kids it happens almost immediately, some it takes a week or two, and occasionally it just doesn’t happen. But it certainly isn’t because I haven’t made the effort or taken the time to try and establish the connection.

These are just a few of the many lessons. I am sure there will be many more. It is a continuing, evolving process. And also a very rewarding process.

 

Posted in Baseball, Basketball, Children, Coaching Youth Sports, DPchallenge, Father-Daughter, First Impressions, Football, Impacting The World, Kids Growing Up, Learning, Relationships, Soccer, Sports, Weekly Writing Challenge, Youth Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Worst of Times and Best of Times

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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” — Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities. When was the last time that sentence accurately described your life? - Daily Post

This quote actually fits me pretty well. I believe even in the darkest of times there is a silver lining somewhere. Some people say that just means I am an eternal optimist. I like to believe it’s because my faith is so strong.

I believe God would not allow dark times if you were not going to reap the benefits of those dark times in the end. The benefits may not always be immediately evident. They may not even be something that you realize is a result of the dark time right away. But eventually it all becomes clear.

My story may not be about the last time this sentence described my life but it is about the first one that came to mind. And it truly was something bad which led some to something truly great.

Shortly after my wife and I met we were traveling to her mom’s to celebrate her mom’s birthday. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon. The trip involves traveling on a lot of country roads. Lots of hills and open country to enjoy.

On this particular trip we ended up in a life changing situation. A car coming the opposite direction was going too fast to stop when a car in front of it slowed to turn into a driveway. The driver swerved to go around the car only to hit us head on with both of us going about 50 MPH.

The next thing I know I was coming to and saw my wife next to me unconscious. She eventually started coming too as well. We both ended up in the hospital, her being taken by Care Flight due to the seriousness of her injuries.

All the sudden we were experiencing the worst of times. We both ended up with broken femurs and having surgery to place a rod and pins in our leg. She also had numerous other injuries, broken foot, ribs, glass shards in her arm and face, minor head injuries. I stayed in the hospital for several days. She ended up being in the hospital and rehab for couple weeks before being released to go home.

Suddenly we couldn’t take care of ourselves. We couldn’t work. We had to rely on friends and family members to take us back and forth to doctor appoints, grocery store, and anywhere else we needed to be. We were young and didn’t have a lot of emergency savings. It was a couple months before I was able to return to work and over a year and a half before she could. I had just proposed to her two weeks before the accident and now we didn’t know when she would be able to walk down the aisle on her own.

However, this also led to what we look back on now as some of the best times too. Once I got the hang of hobbling around well enough to take care of us we went back to our own place. We had no car for a short time. We had nowhere we had to be unless it was a doctors appointment or a family member had come to take us to the store.

Therefore we had endless amount of time to spend together. Cuddling, watching tv, talking, playing board games, etc. This happened in November. We had snow storms in the December and January. Since we had nowhere to be and we lived in an apartment it didn’t matter. It was truly a time where nothing mattered outside of the time we were getting to spend with each other.

To not have to worry about having to be up early the next morning, not having to worry about being ready to leave to go to work. It truly was as if there were absolutely no cares in the world. Many people would love to be able to do that.

Obviously it wasn’t as if we were living carefree. We obviously couldn’t eat cavier and drink champagne every night. But that was fine. We had each other and that was all we needed. We still look back fondly on those couple of months and the time we got to spend together.

It truly was the best of times during the worst of times.

Posted in Bad Things, Daily Prompt, Faith, God, God's Overall Plan, Helplessness, Struggles | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Somebody Else’s Island

Wow… It’s been almost a full year since I last blogged. Time flies. Think I am going to take another shot at posting on a regular basis, but no promises can be made! So without further delay, here we go….

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We’ve all been asked what five objects we’d take with us to a desert island. Now it’s your best friend’s (or close relative’s) turn to be stranded: what five objects would you send him/her off with? – Daily Post

I am assuming here that I am sending this person to be stranded on a desert island as a form of pleasure. Not out of punishment or not in the case of them being ship wrecked unexpectedly. So based on that assumption, here are the items I would send with them:

  1. Family Photos - Obviously you would want to have something to remember your family while you were away, right? Pictures of the spouse, kids, family pets, or whoever else you consider near and dear to you. Even if them driving you crazy is the reason you need this pleasure trip away from everyone and everything you are still going to want to remember them.
  2. E-Reader - While you are sunning yourself in the sun and sand you are still going to need something to do. You can only stare at the sand, water, and sun so much before you get bored. I would load the E-Reader up with that persons favorite books as well as new books from some of their favorite authors. I originally considered a cell phone or tablet to so they could keep up on world events and communicate with family left behind. But then again, this is probably a vacation where you don’t care what else is going on in the rest of the world. Plus, how would you get wifi or cell signal on a deserted island?
  3. Survival Basics Book - Since no one has ever explored this island before who knows what dangerous animals you might encounter. Or if there are sources for food and clean water. What bugs are poisonous, what plants are safe to eat, where do you find water if needed? You certainly aren’t going to have the host of those survival shows along with you so you need something to help you in case you find yourself starving, dehydrated, or in need of emergency action in regards to animal or insect bites.
  4. Sunscreen - Can’t enjoy sun and sand without the appropriate amount of sunscreen. Unless you want to be in pain and discomfort, not to mention possibly ending up with skin cancer. If you truly want to enjoy the deserted island you truly need to protect your skin.
  5. Hatchet or Axe - Never having been to the island before who knows what type of protection there would be available to keep you dry during a sudden serious downpour. The hatchet or axe would allow for the ability to chop trees and wood to create a shelter you can take cover in as well as fire wood so you could boil water and cook food. Would also allow for protection against any larger animals you might be in danger from.

So, what do you think? Good assortment of items? Anything I missed? Anything you would take differently?

 

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