In my Next Life

A man and woman are sitting on the ground.

The Daily Press is our local newspaper.  Being a news junkie, I try to read it daily.  Sometimes, I get dreadfully behind.  “Dreadfully”, for me, is 3-4 days.  But, “dreadfully” for Jerilyn is a lot worse.  She always puts the latest paper on the bottom and reads the oldest.  The one on top today is February 4th.   What she is reading today is not news, it is history.   In August she will read that Boris Yeltsin died last week.  The people in the Obits for Feb 4th have been dead for 3 months.  They have planted a garden in heaven and it is almost fully grown.   The primary difference in her and me, I think, is that I need to know what is going on in the world to feel connected.  She only needs her network of friends and family to be connected.  Wish that were true with me.

The other day as I was driving on one of our local busy streets I noticed a truck with advertisements on all sides of its boxed bed.  These weren’t painted on signs, they were signs that changed.  Sorta like vertical window shades.  It seems, it is not enough that we have to see advertisements on roadside signs, now we have to contend with them riding right along beside us.  I am at a loss in understanding how our state/local government allows this to happen.  They harp about people using cell phones and being distracted and then they add to our confusion by allowing mobile ads.  Bottom line, I guess, it’s all about the money.

I listened to a country song by Merle Haggard the other day, titled “In my Next Life “.  The gist of the song is that in his next life he wants to be a better husband to his wife.  I’m not so sure that I believe in a next life here on earth, but if I did, what would I want to be or do in that life?   As a young boy, I always thought I would grow up to be a minister in the Methodist Church.  Somehow, that desire was pushed aside and I went on to be your ordinary working stiff, earning a daily wage and raising a family.  I think that if I come back, you need to look for me standing in behind a pulpit preachin’ hellfire and damnation (Methodist style of course).  I have never wondered aloud what my life is all about.  Probably too late for that now.

As Jerilyn and I ran our local wooded trail the other day, she spotted a Jack In The Pulpit.  On closer inspection, we spotted several more and I have included a pic of them for you to see.   The last Jack In The Pulpit that I remember seeing was as a boy of 10-12  years of age.  I used to explore the woods surrounding our home and these flowers could always be found growing next to a decaying log.  I tried several times to transplant them to our yard, but was never successful.  Just like this flower, many of us do not do well when we move to another location.  Some of us are flowers that like to stay in one place and others of us can live and prosper almost anyplace.

My trip back to my hometown last week was fun.  Jerilyn and I attended the stained glass window dedication at the church I attended as a boy.   One of the windows was dedicated to my Aunt Helen & Uncle Guy Musick.  Uncle Guy died 3 years ago, but, is still in our hearts.  Aunt Helen is still as active as ever, but has slowed a little at 83.  I was allowed to say some things about the two of them in church on Sunday.  I had jotted down some notes on what I wanted to say.  I remember getting up to say some things in their behalf and then sitting down.  They are two great people.  I hope I did them justice.

Well, guess I had better close.  Thanks for reading.