The Heart Of Coal

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. I’ve been told that under my tough demeanor, I have a heart of gold. A sensitive side. And I’ve been told that I am handsome. But that’s another blog for another day. Or many days, actually.

When Girl Person and Boy Person decided to visit a West Virginia coal mine yesterday, they told Digby and I that since it was so cold, we could take a nap and they would be back. I had no idea what a coal mine was.

But when Girl Person explained the cold, dark and scary space, and how you had to ride down into it, Digby and I had absolutely no problem taking that nap. Plus, when they told us they would buy us a hat, well. It was a deal.

They weren’t gone too long. But apparently they learned a lot.

They learned about coal. And about the people who worked very, very hard to get the coal.

I don’t know about you. But I didn’t really know too much about coal.

Dogs usually don’t talk about it, I guess. So that’s the first thing she talked to me and Digby about. She explained what coal was.

We learned that there are many uses for coal. Persons use it for electricity, to make steel, to produce power.

And the persons in this West Virginia place that worked to get the coal for others to use had a very hard life most of the time.

It was not an easy job. In fact, it was a dangerous job.

I don’t think that persons often think about all of the conveniences they have and why they have them.

When they are turning on a light, or when they use their heater, do they wonder why they have electricity? Do they know about the ones like the coal miners in West Virginia who worked so hard?

Or the fact that so many died?

Do they know the sacrifices that even animals made in those coal mines? Like the ones that carried tons and tons of coal every day?

What about the birds in little cages that the miners carried to know if their air was safe? Yes. Many birds lost their lives too.

It’s easy in a world full of convenience to ignore why we have them. And we waste power. We waste so much. That’s not respectful to anyone. Not the ones who worked for us to have it.

We should all have a heart of coal. Not gold. It is so much more valuable.

Coal may start off cold. But when used, it produces heat and power! Even if we have had a cold heart towards ones in our lives, it can be warmed up.

I think of how life progresses for persons. They have ones in their lives like family that they take for granted when they are young. Time marches on and life takes twists and turns, and sometimes there are disagreements or differences in opinion. Do they let those things make them forget what their family gave up for them when they were young?

Do they take for granted the ones in their lives? They do.

Coal miners worked long and hard days.

Coal miners lived simply, yet provided for so many others.

As with every place and state we visit, the coal mine of West Virginia teaches us about the past, but prepares us for the future. If we keep taking conveniences for granted and we are wasteful, they will be gone one day.

Family can be gone one day too. So precious are our coal hearts. Dig deep. Feel. Forgive. Appreciate.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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Holes In The Trees

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. Sometimes, I feel invigorated! The cold air sure gives me pep. The breeze in my fur, the smell of breakfast at camp and nice, cold grass makes a Tuesday worth getting up for.

As we were taking our morning hike around the lake at camp, we watched the ducks swim, people walking their dogs and bees buzzing around.

There was a lot of life and activity. But a lot of times, I just like to get a good vantage point and take it all in.

That’s when I noticed so many trees! All different sizes and colors. And I noticed all the holes. There were a lot of trees with holes. And I wondered why.

Girl Person told me that sometimes, trees have holes or hollows like people get cavities in their teeth. She says it can be because of an injury or fungus. Sometimes, birds, insects or other animals can make holes in the trees too.

It got me to wondering if something as strong and rooted as a tree can get a hole in it, why do we feel so bad when we aren’t perfect? By we, I don’t mean me. I am perfect. But you get my point.

A tree can still stand with a hole, or quite a few holes. It can even become a hiding place for animals. Its holes prove to be useful and makes it useful in other ways.

Even if the tree ends up having to come down, its purpose can be in the form of something else like the dock we stood on to admire the lake on our hike.

You see, even if you have holes…many holes..don’t doubt your worth. Let others learn from you, become a place of refuge and most of all, keep standing tall for as long as you can!

This West Virginia place is an inspiration that life is all around us! And that there is always a sunny spot somewhere even in the forest.

Nearly seventy five percent of the state is covered in forests!To some, trees may all look alike. But they each have their own goals towards the sun. They each have roots. Not unlike us.

So take your holes and your cavities and use your experience to teach someone else. Your worth and your value is not in trying to be perfect. It’s in seeing the importance of the holes of your experiences. And recognizing your beauty.

Today, we are venturing out in this West Virginia place! We can’t wait to show you what we find!

Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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