Having three timeshares gives me the chance 3 times a year to vacate my job and my daily life and enjoy the ocean we are all drawn to.

Sometimes we must be made leave our busy and debt filled lives and escape the pressure of gettin by. Timeshares do that for me. With a timeshare, you use it or lose it. My sister Judie always rents hers out and then rents a bigger apartment/condo for her entire family and their friends. She just returned from Destin.

My Dad gave each of us (Judie, LuAnne and me) a week of timeshare some 20 years ago. He believes vacations are a necessity, not a luxury. He has convinced me he is and was right. All of my children have spent a week in Florida each summer of their lives. And they feel a sadness each time Diana and I go now as sweet Florida memories creep in to their heads.

My oldest daughter, Jessica and her family of 4 kids and husband just moved to Tennessee. It has been hard on her and her husband, but the kids love it in Tennessee. Brian, her husband, got a job in Jackson and was working before the end of their first week here and by the end of the second week, Jessica had started helping at the restaurant. When you have 4 young kids, a job gives you time away from their constant need for Momma…. and her attention. I am so proud of them as a family for moving to be near us and us to them. They had spent their entire life in the Cleveland Ohio area, where Brian calls home and all his family live. So I admire his blind faith as I did Jessica’s when she left Tennessee to go to nursing school in Ohio.

She always tries to plan to use one of my weeks in Florida but it has yet to work out for her. This morning I called her about a water leak at the Broken Spoke and have her tell the guys what to do so they can have water to open and cook with…. and all is a go…. for another day at the Spoke.

Yesterday Jessica and Ashely and Christen and all their kids, except for one, managed to get together and spend some time at “the creek” and even though a thunderstorm ran them all back home before they were ready to leave, they had a good time together – all together is something that only happened in the past on the holiday… some holidays. It made my heart calm and smile as I wrapped my mind’s eye around each one of them.

See, it’s not really the places we go, but rather the time we spend together when we get there. Time sharing is a deep and meaningful term. Time is money in a capitalist free world. We all posses time and in that way we are all created equal…. as long as we are alive…. we have equal time.

Time to do as we please, some folks find comfort in knowing what time will bring them… the hourly worker knows what his or her paycheck will be come payday…. others feel caged by the time clock and go out on their own…. like me… knowing the odds are against me, I fight with all my time and might to carve a living out of the work of my hands and mind and will to “succeed.”

Then there comes a time when you financially fail or win… or like me…. you fight the gorilla of life…. we fight it out every minute of every day…. me trying to get to the top of the tree and make sure my branch managers have plenty of bananas for their packs and on down the line.

The gorilla takes first and foremost the form of the taxman. That gorilla says give me bananas or you can’t swing in this tree…. where all the bananas are there for the picking.

Sales tax, business tax (city, county and state) liquor tax, unemployment tax, social security tax, tobacco tax (tobacco is already 1/2 taxes and then users are taxed on the tax) property tax (the only people that think my land is worth anything is the property tax assessor and I will gladly sell the county all my land at the appraised and taxed level of today) liquor insurance, property insurance, liability insurance, worker’s comp insurance…. all are required to even qualify to get in the banana tree of taxation.

I choose to go there because I like the “jungle”, the unknown, the chance of great reward.

Most folks don’t even get in the game because they are “fearful of failure”….. they never even try because of this one fear alone…..

Luckily, I left fear behind, along with my underwear, in 1973. I have been somewhat fearless ever since and I have gone and done things no human has duplicated and the list goes on…. because I choose to “fight the gorilla” instead of settling for the “known paycheck”.

This recession has been very hard on small businesses everywhere and the food business is in a war for what customers are available. Prices like 1973 for pizza, burgers and such…. nationwide.

Those of us who are still in business are in for the fight of our lives and for our way of life. The right to fight is already overpriced for many to enter the tree where the bananas hang and that affects everyone’s liberty. I am now forced to shop at big business because they have eaten all the small businesses and their bananas.

The gorilla of taxation is the size of King Kong and I am the one fool with my back foot planted in freedom and my front foot pushing forward in an effort to whip that gorilla’s ass.

Today that gorilla is sleeping while I battle the “breakdown and repair” gorilla. A major water leak, one icemaker needs repair, 2 cold tops went out from the extreme heat…. from a 5 ton a/c being declared dead…. and the gorilla roars and screams and beats his chest…..

While I try to fight the new “bank” gorilla who says…. things have changed, examiners won’t let us do that but rather you must do this… pay me now all your bananas or you get no more of mine. They have forgotten we need their help now more than ever because we worked through the recession… and it ain’t over…. “Mr Gorilla Banker”….. robbing me of my bananas ain’t gonna work out for you… for long.

My phone rings… gotta go…. its my lawyer…. time is money for a lawyer… and me.

As I choose to….. spend time sharing time with my best friend and the ocean and the sun.