Saturday, July 11, 2015

Don't! Please indulge me my own Advertisement.

It doesn't take a genius to understand that smoking is not good for us. It isn't just one of those wives' tales that our moms told us when we were growing up. That one is a real honest to God dangerous habit, one that you may not pay for until very late in life.

Drugs, are another dangerous habit. I'm not talking weed (marijuana) although that is addicting in itself but instead I am referring to methamphetamine, cocaine and crack cocaine. I feel a wee bit knowledgeable today in particular about this subject because I just attended a professional development day and walked away with a vivid picture. One of my sessions was called Gangs & Violence. That in itself is scary enough but what got me more were the after affects of meth use within a year.

Crack cocaine
I didn't know the difference from crack cocaine and cocaine until today. One is broken down into a powder and often mixed with simple household powders like baking soda and then sold. The other is more a wax-like hard nugget substance that needs to be heated for use. When I saw a picture of a young women before and after a year of meth use,

A true life picture

I felt sick to my stomach that this drug is out there on the street and how harmful it is to our population. I have grandchildren out there living around this day in and day out. My life as a young person was never subjected to such temptations, not 'in my face' anyway and I can only pray that our young'uns stand strong against it

 Some of the things I was warned about. I was told "don't hitchhike" (I tried it twice, both equally scary-I guess Mom was right), "don't smoke" (tried it thrice-didn't like being sick from looking cool), "don't go barefoot until May 24" (woops!), "wear sunscreen" (hmm, don't use baby oil laced with Mercurochrome?), "sit up straight, don't hunch!" (got this one GOLD!) and the list goes on. I have to give her credit, she was a smart lady and I've learned a lot from her. Pretty innocent warnings, really.

Back to the bad habits, namely smoking. Aside from not being one to break rules (for any length of time at least), it wasn't my mom who convinced me not to smoke. It was my dad. Daddy smoked at a very young age, his story of 'out behind the barn rolling his own from 12 yrs. old' stays with me. He was a farm boy and I'm sure worked hard to help around the place before and after school. I don't believe there were warnings out there in the 1930's, instead the tobacco companies encouraged you to try a Lucky Strike, a Pall Mall or a Camel. Do you remember these ads?

"I'd walk a mile for a Camel"
Can you believe this?

Even the ladies were encouraged
to get in on the habit.
Pall Mall

My dad rolled his own for a lot of years. I can remember  sitting at the table watching him pull out his pack of papers, spreading the tobacco in a line, rolling a cigarette and wetting it to seal. I was young and I was impressed.

I'm not impressed now with smokers and wish my dad hadn't smoked all those years. Each one being a silent nail in his coffin, so to speak. My father died in his 71st year with emphysema, a battle he fought since he was 50, at least. Not only did he smoke but he was a farm machinery mechanic after leaving the farm and then a small engine repair man, lawn mowers, chain saws etc. You bring it to his shop or our house and my dad fixed it. Never once thinking of the fumes he was inhaling daily. Kind of like the asbestos scare today. Not good.

My children at a young age saw him, sick, on daily oxygen and knew full well that smoking was a huge cause of his disease. I hoped that would be enough to stop them from picking up the habit. It almost did.
When my son was in his early 20's it was like a knife to my heart when I discovered he was smoking. I took the news like a man (!) in the open, only once showing my disappointment to his face but silently prayed he would stop before becoming too addicted. In two years, he stopped and hasn't turned back. He is now a responsible dad himself and has never fallen off the wagon. It was something he had to try, I guess, and kick on his own.

Put It Out!!

Two years ago, I learned that my grandson, at 18, had started smoking. Aarrgh!! A whole new generation to worry about! Again, I showed disappointment once by stressing how his grandfather passed away as a result of the habit and then left it alone. More silent prayers. It worked. On his 19th birthday when his mom and I took him out to dinner, she said "so tell Grandma". I wasn't expecting the wonderful news that after a year, Taylor quit smoking too. Elation!! I can only hope it is for good.

Of my 3 spouses over the past 40 years (OMG! how did I get to be this old?) all of them smoked when I met them. My first husband quit within the first year after our daughter was born. He 'weeded' himself down to a pipe and then stopped altogether. Bravo! My second spouse quit on the patch after smoking a pack a day for at least 30 yrs bm (before me) when I said I hated rolling over and smelling his pillow. No one had ever said that to him before.

Bill, in the years before I knew him well had tried quitting once and succeeded for 6 yrs before going back. It didn't help that his ex smoked like a fiend and every argument that ensued provoked him to reach for one of her smokes. It did help, however, when the Board of Ed put the policy through that no smoking was allowed on the grounds of any Board building. With me, the day we started a firm relationship in Feb. 1996 he stopped smoking cold turkey. That is amazing!  so proud of him. Never having smoked like that, I still know it takes a lot to break that habit and can't give enough credit when someone quits.

I'm not a saint though, as I mentioned earlier I have broken a few rules too. Really! Sun and sunscreen.......I know what we are 'supposed' to do but for me the sun is my addiction. I know I could have avoided some of the wrinkles and saggy skin had I heeded in my earlier years and every once in a while I tell myself "its not too late to start avoiding the sun!" but I'm drawn to it. *sigh*

My youngest grandson and granddaughter are 5 yrs old. I can't even imagine what temptations they will face in 10 or 15 years. We can only stress to a certain degree what to touch and what to avoid, who to befriend and who to distance themselves from. They will make their own decisions using the information we provide them with and we hope they are the right ones.

I try to post something once a month  so had to come up with something. Thanks for reading!

Don't hesitate to comment if you wish, it would be nice to know who is following!

Take care and stay smoke-free!


  1. Enjoyed this blog so much. I tried smoking once ~ on the frozen Avon River during the Winter Festival. School buddies Janice Agar and somebody else. It was so gross. When we travelled in the station wagon with Dad he would ask whoever was in the front seat to light a cigarette for him. Found out later he did this to see if we knew how to smoke. My hubby didn't start smoking until he was 25 ( Dummy ) He as up to 2 packs a day the first time he quit. He lasted a year. Second time was for a bet - but the other person cheated, so Larry started up again. They say the third time is a charm ( you must know that having had 3 hubbies ). The Doc put Larry on the prescription pill Zyban and gave him 1 months worth of valium. He warned him that he would NOT give him any more valium. Truth was I could have used it. He was a bear to live with for about 2 months. It's been about 15+ years now and he has been smoke free. Now if only I could get him away from that daily bottle of wine...

    1. thanks Joan for stopping in and 'chatting'. Apparently we made some smart decisions in our day, eh? :)

  2. Ooooops Patritia I forgot to say I'm like you. I love my sunshine and sunscreen is not in my beach bag. I remember my older sisters using baby oil with iodine mixed in it for tanning. YIKES!!

    1. Yes, we are naughty. I regret the damage to my skin but really find myself drawn to the sun regardless! Wrinkles amass!

  3. If it wasn't for you, I very well could still be smoking. It is "little" things like this that I love you for.

    1. Thank you dear, I'm so pleased that you quit when you did and even more pleased that you stuck with it. I want you around for a long long time! xo