The Wooden Boats

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  There is no denying that I am the head of the house. Top law enforcement in my neck of the campground.  Most handsome dog in the world, and or universe.  But I am also the captain of my ship.  Sailor extraordinaire.  On any ship. Or boat.

I was one of the fortunate ones.  I knew my calling in life, to be all of the above.  But there are others that also know their calling.  And when you travel, you get to see many different ways that some use their calling to make themselves happy and others too. They sing their own tune.  Do we hear it?  Do we dance to their music?

Such was the case when we happened upon a small town called Mayport, Florida.  Bear with me here if you think you are in school, because you are.  This is the class of Brickle and no one is excused.


Now, I am not a historian, and I don’t claim to be.  But every place that we visit has a history. When we happened upon this town of Mayport, and a place full of wooden boats…yes…wooden boats…it made us think about our history too.


Now, some may have passed by the small seafood place that this wooden boat museum was in.


In fact, some may not have even seen it at all.  There are many places and things that we may drive by every day and wonder about.  But how many times have you actually stopped to see what may be the history and who made that history?  Because in every piece of wood, nail or sidewalk, someone made that.  And they probably put a part of themselves in it too.


For us, we may have been across the United States more times than I would like to think about.  But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t something new to learn, even around a corner we have traveled down many times.  You see, one man in the little town of Mayport, Florida decided that he wanted to make his mark right here.  He wanted to do something and he did it.  And he didn’t need to make money from it, or be famous.  He just wanted to do it because it was in his heart.  He made model, wooden boats.  He made many, model, wooden boats.


You would think with all of these beautiful, detailed wooden boats, that he would have sold some.  He never did.  That was not his goal.  He enjoyed making them, he enjoyed thinking about the family that he came from, and their time on the water.  He was able to make these boats from memory in a detail that no one else could have.  This was his calling.  This was one of his contributions to the world.  And now, all of these boats still remain.  Even though he is not here.


You see, the boats are gathering dust.  They don’t sail on the water, but instead are kept in his old seafood shack.  And as patrons come to eat the catches of the day, they can escape not to a fancy museum, but one that is better.  One that is made extravagant by their imagination. And wasn’t this a wonderful gift that he gave to the world?

It made me think.  What kind of music was I playing?  Growling is one.  Barking is another.  But how do I make a pawsitive contribution not only now, but for after we are gone?

We may not be in this town forever, so to appreciate what is here, and be respectful of the ones that have made it what it is is important.  That goes for where you are too. Wherever we travel to, we should stop.  Look.  Listen.  And learn.  Learn about the people here before us.  Learn about the history and the lessons, and then apply what we learn to be better for it. Now, if there would have been a peanut butter cookie museum here, I definitely would have stopped to check that out too.  Maybe I should build one…

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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I’m A Believer

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. The day has come, Arkansas.  It is time for us to pack it up and go.  But before we go, one more thing.  You. Are. Arrested.

You had it coming.  Sorry, because although we enjoyed our time here very much, the last trick you pulled on us pushed your arrest to the front of my to do list.


We were ready to hit it big yesterday.  Ready after a night of rain and tornado warnings that threw us all into a panic.

What’s the use of trying
All you get is pain
When I wanted sunshine I got rain

We knew our drive to dig for diamonds was gonna be worth it.  We believed the romance of Crater Of Diamonds State Park. We believed it.

It’s kind of like when the girls look at me and they believe they can have me, it all proved wrong.  Diamonds here?  Puleeze.

Love was out to get me
That’s the way it seemed
Disappointment haunted all of my dreams

Now.  Truth be told, I could have cared less about digging for shiny rocks called diamonds.  It all seemed to not make sense.  Digby thought he was digging for Jims and not gems, and I also thought I was digging for carrots and not carats which I hate with a passion. Boy Person was trying to find a diamond to give it to Girl Person who has one missing out of her ring, and he was determined to find one.  But to me, it seemed like no one was really paying attention to much of anything.


As I was sitting back and surveying the activities of the day, the thought ran across my mind.  How many diamonds were all of these people stepping on?  How many were they passing by that they did not see?  And why couldn’t they see the other pretty rocks in the same dirt?  It got me to thinking.


How many things do we miss when we are focused on something else?  Why can’t we see the good in the ordinary?  Why are we looking for something everyone else tells us is special?  What makes a diamond more pretty than a shiny pebble? What makes a diamond worth more than the ladybug crawling in the mud?  I just don’t know.  How many good things do we miss when we are looking for another? And why do we always realize this too late?

Girl Person told us that the only feeling she would carry from this day was gratitude, not disappointment.  She said she was happy we had this experience, and that we were together as a family.


I was a little worried myself when Boy Person didn’t find her a diamond.  And I was worried that I did not either.  But when I saw her face, I knew it was ok.

Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer
Not a trace, of doubt in my mind
I’m in love, I’m a believer
I couldn’t leave her if I tried

Now, all of this being said, it does not change my mind about arresting Arkansas.  Fact is, I haven’t arrested a state in awhile.  And due to your crazy bathtubs in the hot springs and lack of diamonds in a diamond field, the obvious should be stated.  Arkansas?  You are the “Natural State”, so it’s only natural I follow MY nature and arrest ya.

Today, we are headed to that Oklahoma place.  On Thursday, we will be visiting Paws N Ada in Ada, Oklahoma and meeting their awesome dogs like Cindy here.


And since we have such a long, six hour drive ahead of us, I will be daydreaming about all the diamonds we left behind in Arkansas.

Now you know how happy I can be
Oh, our good time starts and ends
Without all I want to spend
But how much, baby, do we really need?

Actually though, what we are taking with us from Arkansas is so many lessons learned of appreciation, beauty and the important things in life.  Good bye, Arkansas.  Sorry I arrested you, but it made me feel better.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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