|Then and Now! 10-30-07|
|Taking Life By Storm January 1999|
|That's all I want! 8-10-06|
|I once wondered if our founding fathers were keenly aware of their opportunities and the times in which they lived, and I longed to have been part of the creation of our Christian Republic. Now I have a special opportunity, not unlike those I for which I once yearned. - Julie Kay Smithson, September 2006.|
That's all I want!
June 25, 2006
By Julie Kay Smithson firstname.lastname@example.org
My prayers are "back'ards," always being filled with praise and thanksgiving for what He has done, is doing, and will do in my life and in the lives of others.
Believe it or not, when a traffic light I am approaching changes color, I say, right out loud, "Thank you, Lord!" Why? Because, if it turns green, I know the way ahead is safe. If it turns red, God is holding me back for a few moments so the way can be cleared! Many times over the years I've seen this proven, as I wait for a light (or wait in traffic), only to discover that there's been a bad accident or some other thing that would have harmed me. Does it mean that every light change or delay is a message or act of God? Yes, I believe it to be so, even though it may not always be apparent at the time.
This is utter faith. It is childlike and it is total.
The death of a beloved dog in July 1998 was rough. Too had shown up at the farm in February 1994 where I kept my horses. He looked almost like a carbon copy of ten-year-old Beau, a black and white Siberian Husky with ice-blue eyes, thus the "he looks like Beau, too" naming. The differences were immediately clear that physical appearance was not proof of duplication: Too had been long on the run. He weighed half of what he should, his toenails and pads were worn smooth and were almost hot to the touch. His lower front teeth were worn almost to the gum, and he had a mark on his neck where a thick collar had been. The story before his arrival was unknown, but there were those visible hints. His previous owner was never located, so he stayed with Beau and I for almost four and a half years. The major differences were that Beau was a puppy mill dog and was Very food aggressive. No matter that he was never teased about food and never hungry; he was always ready, willing and able to bite the hand that fed him. It was sad, but all efforts to change him failed. Too, on the other hand, was ever grateful for his new home and never let me forget it. His eyes and happy "smile" told me so, and he often laid as close as possible to me, sometimes almost choking me with his head or a front paw draped 'crost my neck! He was everything that Beau was not, though they were both beautiful dogs.
That July morning, I just returned from a truck trip to Chicago. It was eight-thirty and "going to be a hot one," steam already rising from the fields in typical Ohio summer fashion. The barn area, where Beau and Too lived when I was out of town three days a week, was cool and clean, bedded with straw and cedar shavings, with buckets of fresh water and free choice food. Their dog houses were "DogLoos," and they each had half the floor plan, giving them full sight of the horses and a 15 x 20-foot area to enjoy. Upon my return, each would "roo" at me, that sound that is not quite a howl, but certainly not a bark. That morning, only Beau rooed. Too was still asleep! I could see him, stretched out peacefully on his side, looking like he could scarcely have been more relaxed. He was still warm, but his angelic spirit had gone Home. I gathered his almost hundred-pound body in my arms and staggered up the hill toward the gate. The farmer that owned the farm saw me when I neared the gate and offered to bury Too for me. It was the only time he saw me weep.
Nine weeks and three days later, the Farm Science Review began here in Ohio, just four miles from home. I had two free admission tickets, and gave one to the farm owner. We arrived at eight am sharp and joined thousands of other Review goers to walk the four and a half miles of the Review grounds, where everything farm and rural related may be found -- even cattle dogs from Amish country.
There they were, in a round pen: thirteen or fourteen Australian Blue Heeler puppies, two litters, all looking healthy and happy, other than being not nearly the show stoppers that Siberian Husky pups are. After all, these little guys looked more like lambs than dogs, their silvery-white coats just beginning to show their future markings. One pup stood out immediately, to me. He was lying in the shade, watching two others tussle for a piece of rope. He patiently waited until they tired and abandoned the rope, then walked over and got it. Then he saw me watching him, and the rest is history. That familiar feeling in the pit of one's stomach when you find "the horse" or "the dog," happened to me. I reached in and scooped him from the sea of squirming puppies, and the farmer wryly commented, "It looks like you've got a new dog." I cringed, thinking that Beau would probably have this pup for supper, as food aggressive as he was. I put the pup back and we spent the next eight hours walking the Review grounds and seeing all that was new (and tasty -- the Review has a great Food Row, with Angus burgers and Bob Evans sausage, plus anything else to please the rural palate). At four o'clock, we walked back down the row where we'd started the day. I found myself hoping against hope that the pup might still be there. It was obvious, even from a distance, that there were far fewer pups than there'd been that morning. More than half were gone. But ... one pup, reared up on its hind legs and looking in our direction -- could it be? It was! He'd been awaiting our return all day! I took him home on condition that my husky would accept him. Although Beau was testy, he grudgingly accepted the pup, and for another three years they lived with me. Beau was almost fifteen when he died in his sleep.
The pup's name is Wiggles. He will soon to be eight and he's "the dog of a lifetime." He's utterly loyal and filled with love. He loves me, but he also wiggles that stumpy tail for the rural mail carrier, my parents, friends, sisters, and all those he comes across in life. His eyesight has gradually left over the last three years (both his parents were carriers of PRA -- progressive retinal atrophy), so God has blessed me to be his seeing eye person. We're both fine with that and have adjusted and are happy in our lives. I don't rail at God for Wiggles' blindness. I thank Him for the gift of this dog, so filled with love and trust, and for the blessing of being the person given the privilege of caring for him through his life.
This is utter faith. It is childlike and it is total.
The miracles that made me able to be home with Wiggles and be his friend, began when his eyesight was fine, long before we knew about the PRA. In January 1999, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service held a meeting in the local Mennonite Bible college at Rosedale, in the sanctuary, to tell my Amish and Mennonite neighbors and I that it wanted to install a federal wildlife refuge right where we lived, ostensibly because it had discovered that we had "possible habitat" for the "endangered Indiana bat." That day we were handed relocation brochures. In the three and a half years that followed, the guidance from God to be a fighter for my home, way of life, and those of my pacifist neighbors, brought many changes. In order to fight the good fight and fight it well, my job was resigned, the horses and all that pertained to them, sold.
Although USFWS officially withdrew its "proposal" in June 2002, by that time I'd learned of other property rights issues nationwide and was on the way to becoming a voice to help others learn to help themselves. http://www.PropertyRightsResearch.org was born on January 4, 2002, when the sixth-generation farm owner in my neighborhood, who had started and run a website to help get the word out about us and our plight and fight, http://www.nodarbyrefuge.org, emailed to tell me that he had terminal liver cancer. He said he was shutting the site down if I didn't want it. He asked if I wanted the website. I prayed for guidance, thanking God for wherever this path led, though I had no idea of how to run a website. A friend in New Mexico emailed an answer to my query for a webmaster and her webmaster took on this new task. Four and a half years and well over four million first-time visitors later, the original website (which focused on this Darby part of Ohio and numbered 116 pages) has become a national, and international, website to help folks learn about property rights and resource providers, and it numbers over twenty thousand pages. More than a billion return visitors is clear evidence that the website is needed and useful. The former wages I made each year, have taken six years to make what used to be earned in one year, but we are making it. We have food on the table and many, many blessings to count!
This is utter faith. It is childlike and it is total.
How it is achieved is not something easily explained, other than that it has been a part of my life since September 1977, when God's direct intervention saved my life from being maliciously destroyed by another person. Earlier that afternoon, when I was so miserable in a marriage that had been unbelievably violent since Day One, which was May 5, 1973, I was sitting on the steps of our apartment, curled in the fetal position, quietly asking God to just let me stop breathing, because nothing I said or did stopped the beatings, and I could never raise my hand to protect myself. God spoke clearly to my heart (not out loud to my ears, but even stronger and clearer) and said four words: "The stories are TRUE."
To anyone else, those four words would have been a puzzle, but to me, they explained a mystery I'd had since childhood. It was always difficult for me to accept Bible stories, because they seemed like an extension of the children's stories. How could they be true when the others were fiction? "The stories are true" resonated in my soul like a bell: Jesus died on a cross for me! For just a moment, the pains in hands and feet were palpable, and I wept in joy. He lived and died and lived again, for me!
That day, and every day since, are gifts from God. Prayers are unceasing, as natural as breathing, and are filled with praise. As His child, He asks for my utter faith and trust. How can I please my Father today? That's all I want!
Then and Now!
October 30, 2007
By Julie Kay Smithson email@example.com
The article below, Taking Life By Storm, was written in March 1998 and published in RoadStar magazine in its debut issue, January 1999. It is posted here at the About Us button to introduce readers to who I was then.
Who I am now:
Countless hours are cheerfully devoted to property rights research, working with responsible resource providers (farmers, fishermen, miners, ranchers, recreationists, and the folks that grow and harvest and process timber into products that each of us use every day -- our heroes, the American Resource Providers), learning and sharing knowledge.
From its humble beginnings in August 1999 to its demise in 2001, the original website known as NoDarbyRefuge.org was owned by Jim Slaughter. As he grew ill and felt less and less like keeping the site active, my contributions to the site in the form of editorials and articles about our successful rout of U.S. Fish & Wildlife 'Service' from our peaceful and fertile west-central Ohio farms were no longer posted. The site grew stale.
On January 3, 2002, Jim offered to give me the site, which numbered 116 pages, as he was shutting it down.
What could I do? Knowing zero about websites, updating, web mastering, or anything 'computer technical', I emailed a dear rancher friend in New Mexico whose website I admired. She suggested her webmaster, he offered his peerless skills and time, making www.PropertyRightsResearch.org into the premier website for most things related to property rights, until illness forced him to stop. A new chapter began on Friday, July 13, 2007, when yours truly began web mastering the site. This website is a miracle, for which I and many others give thanks every day!
The mind-boggling amount of information available on the Internet about the many facets of property rights had never before been gathered into one place.
There were -- and are -- websites about property rights, yes, but they are usually organizations, foundations, etc., and focus on parts of the whole.
To my knowledge, no one had put together all the various government entities, NGOs, and victimization tools like eminent domain, 'smart' 'growth', and so on.
From founding documents like the Bill of Rights, Constitution and Declaration of Independence, to my webmaster's suggestion of having all fifty states' Constitutions (and their state seals), the site appeals countless folks: From those seeking foundational knowledge of our Constitutional Republic, to those needing to do a comparison study showing which constitution actually does separate church from state: http://europeanhistory.about.com/cs/communistrussia/ The 1918 Communist constitution, in Article 13 of the Preamble. Article 13. In order to ensure genuine freedom of conscience for the working people, the church is separated from the State, and the school from the church: and freedom of religious and anti-religious propaganda is recognized for all citizens. http://europeanhistory.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.departments.
Other buttons appeal many facets of property rights, whether aimed at farmers (CREP, CRP, Conservation Easements, Restrictive Covenants, USDA), fishermen (NMFS), loggers (Forest Service), ranchers (BLM), or those with access issues (Inholders, Recreationists, Roadless). Many buttons are cross-posted.
There are buttons like Klamath, which may, at first glance, appear to be local issues, but are actually examples of efforts to implement The Wildlands Project and make all private property and resource utilization go extinct.
There are buttons like Maps, Links and Websites of Interest to direct the visitor to other websites, believing that sharing information and networking is of paramount importance.
This is now 'what I do' instead of truck driving and raising horses. Those things became a past chapter in my life when I eagerly committed to this new effort. My twenty-seven year career driving trucks was resigned in the summer of 2000; the last horses and horse equipment left in late August 2002.
This website is not supported by grant or foundation funding. It is not, as the search engines say, 'a coalition of US land and natural resource owners.' It is not even an organization, but is run on faith and hope and the knowledge that a few can and do make a difference. It has been supported by my personal savings and is now supported by donations sent by readers like you. The amount is not important, but keeping this effort in your prayers, sending a donation or ordering from the Online Store -- these are what keep this effort strong.
Only you know how important this website is to you. Your support shows your appreciation for this website and the help it offers you with no membership or registration and no information held hostage by password.
PropertyRightsResearch.org will celebrate its sixth birthday on January 4, 2008. By that time, the 'hit counter' may well number seven million. If each website visitor mailed one dollar to me, it would make the work that I do joyfully and eagerly even easier.
Thank you for sending your donation to:
Make checks payable to:
Julie K. Smithson
213 Thorn Locust Lane
London, OH 43140
There's a clear cause-and-effect here that is as neat and
predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty
contracts. - RONALD REAGAN
"My task which I am trying to achieve is by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel -- it is, before all, to make you see." - Joseph Conrad, English novelist
Taking Life By Storm
Passionate about her work, her faith and her pets, Julie Smithson always follows her heart.
By "My Girl Shirl" Shirley Rigney Contributing Editor
"There is no such thing as a cabover truck. The only real trucks are conventionals," Julie Smithson said emphatically, as we sat down on a couple of stools in a quiet corner during the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville.
"Storm," as she is known on the CB, pulls a set of 28-foot doubles, hauling LTL freight three times a week from Columbus, OH, to St. Louis, MO. She's been making this run for Yellow Freight since 1983.
Julie's first truck driving experience was behind the wheel of a little dump truck, while she was a receptionist next door to the fence company where she worked.
One lunchtime, a fellow came in and asked her if she knew of anyone with a chauffeur's license who could drive a manual transmission. Since Julie was the only one in the office, she replied, "I'm the only one here, and yes, I do, and yes, I can. Why?"
He told her he had a load to deliver and didn't have a driver. She agreed to help.
"I guess I did okay," she said, grinning, "because in about two weeks he was back wanting me to go pick up a larger truck." Soon my life would change forever. I started driving longhaul that winter.
"For a young gal, driving was fun, not like a job at all. I loved it then and even more so today. I guess I'm just hooked on driving."
Julie confided she wished the driving fraternity, or what she calls the "driving family," would care enough to treat each other with more kindness.
"We are inclined to worry about our own lives like we're the only ones who have problems. We forget every person has things on their mind. The golden rule says, "Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you." I interpret that to mean "be courteous and considerate of others." We need to be ready, willing and able to help each other in life and on the road," she said.
Smithson is a Christian. While she doesn't frequent truckstop chapels, she said it does her heart good to know the chapels are there to help the driver.
"I try to minister to people like a chaplain as I travel down the road. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, someone needs to talk. So I let them know we are all part of the family of God and he is there for us, because we are all his kids," she said. "We are supposed to love one another. I don't get to attend church very often, but I take his philosophy with me. I love God above all things, and I love the life he has given to me."
Smithson's love for animals is well-known by her friends. Her first love on that score is Arabian horses. She has been breeding them since 1979. She raises "the little ones," trains them and sells a few each year. When we talked, she had 11 Arabians. She told me she "really gets into it," but then she is the type of person who can't be lukewarm about anything. She summed it all up: "Either I love it or I hate it."
This gal just plain loves animals. She has two other four-legged kids: a big black-and-white Siberian husky and an Australian blue heeler.
The oldest of the two is the husky called Beau. He is 10 and a half years old. The heeler is named Wiggles.
"When that little tail of his wags, his whole body goes. I couldn't name him anything else," she says. "If we could give the love and devotion to each other that our pets give to us, wouldn't this world be a great place?"
I agree. Puppy love truly warms the coldest heart. 'til we meet again, may the good Lord bless. Give us a holler when you see that old Silver Fox bus and we'll chat up a storm. Failing that, you can send me an e-mail anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org