Man, southern Stone county in the 1970's. Gravel roads, party lines, and freedom. There was only one guy in a very large area that had his property posted and he was considered the biggest jerk around. My sisters, buddies and I played in the creek "at the bottom of the hill." Could camp on the creek, fish, hunt, etc. without anyone getting excited or looking for us. Listened to the owls and whippoorwills in the evenings. We didn't have a lot, but we weren't starving to death and had enough free time to grow up country. Flash forward to about the year 2000 and my nephew and I tried to ride atv's to the creek. We were stopped by a locked gate and posted signs. My response was, "The road is paved most of the way, but the gate is locked and most of the trees have been cut down. I am not sure this is progress." However, I was walking the dog in the back yard right at daylight this morning and smelled the blooming honeysuckle. Along with everything else I have going on (see my graduation post) I got just a bit misty eyed. I have come to the conclusion there are only two blessings we really get. Time and people. The people are the truest blessings and the time we get to spend with them is never enough. Everything else is just fluff.