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         Sorry I haven’t done a blog post in a while. I haven’t written anything for some time. I always get that way this time of year. It’s not the holiday. I love Christmas, but it dredges up some disappointing memories. When I was in high school I took a career aptitude test to find out what type of career would coincide with my interests. After checking the results, my guidance counselor told me with my intelligence and abilities I would make a perfect shepherd. Ever since then when I hear the phrase, and there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the fields… I’m overwhelmed with a feeling of what–could have-been. I guess we all have to live with missed opportunities.

         I had a friend in high school who took the same test. The results said he should be an engineer. He went to college and studied math and science, graduated with honors and went on to get his master’s degree. Even with all that, to this day he has never driven a train. Instead he works for General Dynamics designing rockets, but I’ve never heard him complain.

         I didn’t go to college right out of high school. Instead I got married and had kids. My wife had this silly idea that our kids should eat three meals a day, and she insisted on real meals with meat, potatoes, vegetables and even MILK! Not just those square cheese crackers with peanut butter in the middle. So I had to get a manual labor job. At times I worked right beside those illegal/undocumented/guest aliens/immigrants/workers everyone is talking about now. My son once asked me if I ever watched the show Dirty Jobs. I told him I had lived the show Dirty Jobs. It gave me a respect for people who do manual labor. I don’t have a problem with someone getting their hands dirty as long as they keep trying to better themselves. It is very easy to just get comfortable with your fate in life. Man was meant to succeed and not just survive. You will find a lot of my characters have a manual labor background.

         I finally went to college as a non-traditional student, which meant I was older, studied hard, went to class and tried to get good grades instead of drinking, partying all night, missing most of my classes and trying to hook up with anything that breathed like the traditional students. Being a non-traditional student sucked.

         When I got into law enforcement there were parts of the job I liked and parts I didn’t. I didn’t like dealing with drunk, unreasonable, irrational people who went off on tirades and temper tantrums—and those were the people I worked with. I’m kidding. For some reason, I liked busting underage beer parties. We’d go in the front door and the kids would scatter in all directions, so we’d have to round them up and bring them back to one spot to issue citations. The juveniles we’d herd down to the office to call their parents… I guess in a way I was a shepherd. Never mind I feel better now.

But we’d both gotten what we’d asked for
Such a long, long time ago.—Harry Chapin

         For those of you who are interested, Long and Short Reviews will be reposting a blog of mine on Christmas day at noon Central Standard Time. If you go to the site after that and leave a comment, your name will be entered in a drawing to receive a paperback copy of my first book, In The Sticks. The site is at this link https://www.google.com/url?q=http://wp.me/p2ZcT9-7gq&usd=2&usg=ALhdy29SFv0P8UGb4WRDsQRfni7ebaZlQA I will try to remind everyone. Have a Merry Christmas. Now excuse me I have to go find some sheep.

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About thewritingdeputy

Joel Jurrens was a deputy sheriff for 26 years until he retired in 2013. He has published three novels: In The Sticks, Graves of His Personal Liking and County Ops: The Vengeance of Gable Fitzgerald. He tries to keep his blog light and humorous and sometimes downright silly.
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