Raining Cats & Dogs!

֎  On a recent Sunday, my daughter(Debby) and I were at my son’s house (Rusty), sitting out under the canopy on his driveway and chatting about the past week’s events.  All of a sudden, a storm hit and it rained “cats & dogs” (an old southern term meaning a downpour).  The rain was so hard we could barely hear each other talk.  Slowly, the water began to gather around our feet and his Pomeranian dog(Grace) jumped up into my lap to escape getting wet.  As the thunder boomed off in the distance my mind wandered back to when I was a kid.  The house I lived in with Mom, Dad, and brother Jerry, had a tin roof and whenever it rained at night, the constant pitter patter echoed down to our bedroom and lulled us to sleep. After graduating from high school in 1959, I moved away and all our homes had asphalt roofs, so the lullaby of rain on the roof disappeared.  My wife and I replaced our roof in 2009 and I wanted to replace it with aluminum and bring back the sounds that rain generated during our quiet moments.  But, alas, my wife was against it, and we had our asphalt shingles replaced with the same type, just a different color and style.  As I sat there with my two children (their mother passed away in 2014) and watched the rain pour down, I was content to be isolated with them for about 45 minutes, where no one else would enter and none of us could leave.  We were stranded on an island for that brief period of time and nothing could interrupt us, except the pounding of liquid on the metal canopy that protected us from a drenching.  It reminded me of the many hours the three of us sat and talked in the living room of our small house when they were youngsters. The TV was right there in front of us, but we never turned it on.  We just sat and talked for hours.  My son and I still do that a lot, but not so much with my daughter.  She seems to be caught-up doing other things.  I don’t really know who’s to blame for this but Shakespeare said it quite eloquently, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

֎ “Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.” – Sir Francis Bacon

I ran across this quote the other day and found it very interesting.  Sometimes, thoughts are expressed so clearly it causes one to pause.  I’m sure that I have always felt that those among us that are well read are more knowledgeable and better prepared to face life’s difficulties than those of us that would rather watch TV or be lying on the beach.  As far as the “conference” thing, I have often heard that, “Those who can, do, and those that can’t, hold a conference”.   As far as writing making a man exact… I’m not so sure.  For me, writing certainly allows me to precisely align my thoughts, but I’m not sure it goes a long way in making me more exact.  In other words, having my thoughts aligned doesn’t insure that my process is as thorough as it should be, just that they are in order.  I do compliment Mr. Bacon for causing me to pause and reflect upon his thoughts.

֎  My wife retrieved a bottle of weed killer from the storage cabinet and encouraged me to get out the water hose, attach the bottle, and spray the weeds that were taking over a large part of our yard. Of course, it is necessary to cover all exposed skin, wear safety glasses, and protect any flowers & shrubs from any overspray.  The sun was shining robustly and the temp was around 80°, making all the clothing I had on a little discomforting.  Eventually, the task was accomplished, the water hose was stored, and the contaminated clothing exchanged for some things much more comfortable. After lunch, I walked outside to get another chore underway, and I was certain I could hear weeds groaning in pain as they commenced the process of wilting away.  In the back of my mind, I was worried that some of the poison will attach itself to various shrubs/flowers my wife planted.   I had that happen before and it is not a good experience.  There is an old African Proverb that says, “If you want peace in the house, do what your wife wants.”

֎  Recently, as my wife and I were headed outside to do some chores, she started to say something and I interrupted, completing her sentence for her.  She commenced to complete her thought and it wasn’t close to my summation of her thought.  She quickly commented, “You thought you could read my mind didn’t ya?”  I responded that, “My life would be so much simpler if I could”.  I think, perhaps, most of us guys feel the same way.  When The Lord made man I imagine he said, “Now what can I do improve this human when I make a woman?”  He started his work and made many improvements including: adding a dash more caring, taking out a lot of aggression, adding more kindness, removing a desire to bully, adding a greater ability to love, and finally, a double dash of humility and faithfulness.   For a reason known only to Him, he made her smaller in stature, making her vulnerable to physical abuse.  Fortunately, we have laws in our country (USA) that punish men that choose to abuse women.  Regrettably, there are many countries that treat women as second class citizens, or as indentured servants. I doubt that I’ll see that change in my lifetime, but I can always hope!  An old Talugu Proverb says, “When three women join together, the stars come out in broad daylight”.  I absolutely believe that to be true!

֎ “Perhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little.” – Edna Ferber

I must say that I agree with that quote.  I think a lot of us enjoy too much of some things and what immediately comes to mind is a Dairy Queen Blizzard.  Perhaps, her meaning went much deeper than that simple example, but it you never know what’s important to someone.  I also think that I drink too much coffee, smoke too many cigars, and wash the truck too often.  My biggest “too much” has to be sitting in front of the computer.  Some people probably play too much golf or eat out too many times each week.  As you see, this list could go on and on but I’ll put it to rest by saying that I think most of us tend to overdo the things we really enjoy.  As long as what we’re doing is not destructive, unhealthy, or annoying to others, we should, within reason, do those things as often as we want.  When I read the quote above, I just started writing my thoughts to see where it would take me and, sure ‘nuff, the next thing I knew I’m standing on the stump preachin’ like there’s no tomorrow 😊.  It brings to mind a quote by Melanie Benjamin, “When you write things down, they sometimes take you places you hadn’t planned.”  Yup, that hit me smack-dab between the eyes!