??? As many of you might know I have fibromyalgia and many times it is a “tough row to hoe” so to speak. I have been really feeling its effects this week therefor my lack of new posts everyday as I try to do normally. I did make it out with my wife yesterday afternoon, the first time this week, and then only rode with her to pick our up daughter from school.

??? I did notice something that brought back memories of when I went to high school, that was students gathered up right off of the edges of the school grounds smoking. I noticed a group of maybe a dozen and a half lit up and puffing away, oblivious of the fact that they are dangerous and a hard habit to kick. Now when I went to school the only ones that had to sneak off campus to smoke were the lower class men or one that did not have a permission form signed by their parents. Every rest room or at least every one for the boys was smoke filled as there was always someone sneaking a smoke that was not allowed to. Students who had permission slips filled out and on record could use the student smoking areas. I think back on those days as I see how the new rules are layed out. Tobacco itself is forbidden anywhere on campus, much less its use by anyone on campus student, teacher or visitor. Gone are the days where they had to catch you in the act and even then it was only a slap on the wrist. Now simply having cigarettes on your person is an offense that will get the student a few days off from school as well as their parent having to come in and have a conference before the “vacation” is over.

??? I am glad that they have made smoking so much harder to do for students than when I was a teenager. I smoked all through school with and without a permission slip. Tobacco is a gateway drug. It opened up the gates for many of us to use drugs. I was skipping school smoking cigarettes and helping consume a stolen bottle of wine when I first smelled and tasted the sweet aroma of marijuana burning. I am not saying that I would have never been exposed to it had I not been smoking cigarettes but it would not have been during my school days. Or was that school daze? I know that as a teenager you are supposed to be a little wild, rebellious, and willing to try new things but making it harder at each step for them to get a hold of things that can hurt them is a good thing. I worry about my daughter the same way I worried about my son when he was that age.

??? I wish there was a way I could have made the students I saw smoking see what they are letting themselves in for by smoking cigarettes. As many of you know it is a very hard habit to break. Even though it has been over 6 weeks since I had my last smoke I still reach for one every time that I lean back to let my hands rest up or to catch my thoughts. It has become that ingrained – smoking is insidious. Like the Sirens of Odysseus day that Homer tells us of. If only they had Orpheus, (a talented musician) on board with them. [He played music even more beautiful than the Sirens so that the men did not hear them.] I doubt we can find anything good for us that is more alluring than cigarettes other than good health and being able to breath. Though those are two darn good reasons in themselves. At least smokers are becoming less and less in the norm and it is lots harder for children to start.

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