This past summer has been one of the hottest that I can remember. I thought it might just be one of the symptoms of getting old. But from what I have read, it has been a scorcher for everyone in the U.S., not just us older folks.
What has bothered me the most is the drought my area has been in for most of this summer. I’m not one to wish for rain, but things begin to feel unnatural when the ground is hard with a layer of dust on top. When it gets so dry, people stop mowing their lawns because the grass is usually already dead, or by cutting it, you will expose the roots and surely kill it. Things like that make me wish for rain.
I had a bunny rabbit in my backyard every day for a couple of months. I enjoyed watching him from my kitchen window. But when the drought went into full swing, the little guy left to find a cooler place where he could find water. My guess would be one of the farms with a pond nearby. I hope he makes it back to my yard when things cool down.
I am sure our local farmers have struggled immensely from the drought. I myself am not on their payroll. But I am surrounded by a vast number of acres of crops in my little Tennessee town. It saddens me to drive by a field and notice brown leaves on crops that should be a rich green color. Our farmers are most certainly taken for granted by the world. Their hardships must be plenty.
Two weeks ago, a miracle happened. It rained! Not just a little shower or two, but a full-day soaking. Something I know everyone in my town had been praying for. It made me wonder if some of my neighbors had been out doing a rain dance together. Maybe more like a rain prayer? Whether they danced, prayed, or both, I am so happy it worked! We have continued to get rain since, by way of old-fashioned summer storms. The kind that makes a day perfect for napping. It has certainly brightened my mood.
I hope the rain we have been getting as of late has given the farmers a sense of relief. But I am not so sure that is the case. While I watch the historical floods happening in our close neighboring state of Kentucky, our weather man says we are still considered to be in a drought. How can there be way too much rain a few hundred miles from us, and yet we are still counting every drop? Only one person can answer that question, and I have been taught never to question Him.
Here’s hoping you have the perfect amount of sunshine and rain wherever you are on this earth. May your skies be blue and your load a light one. Thanks for reading.
It has been two months since my last missive, and I have missed the daily jotting down of things that roam aimlessly thru my mind. Hopefully, I have mended my wasteful ways and am now back to allocating the 15 minutes each day I use for writing. Whenever I lose interest, I go back to 2007/2008 and read some articles I wrote then, and they give me so much pleasure. Things long forgotten are instantly brought back to memory. Therein lies my motivation.
⌘⚽ I’ll bet you are unaware that the most widely consumed meat on Earth is pork. Personally, I thought it was chicken, but pork is consumed by 36% of Earthly residents and chicken is 2nd with 33%. My favorite (beef), comes in at a mediocre 24%. The average person in our country eats 51 lbs of pork each year. You guys are eating a lot of pork!
I’m confident my family doctor thinks I eat too much meat because each time I go in for my yearly physical he always hands me literature on healthy eating, and it never includes very much meat. I probably wouldn’t be taking a cholesterol pill if I consumed less meat. I used to eat a lot of steak, but after choking on it back in 2014 and almost losing my life, I switched to meat that wasn’t so dense. Mostly now, my meat is chicken, hamburger, or something else that’s easily swallowed. I remember that life-threatening event and it had a lasting impression (thanks to Cindy for saving my life).
Sometimes, I wonder if we see the past as it actually happened, or do we intentionally forget certain aspects of what occurred. I believe that all of us have some type of burden to carry from our past, but I also think our past is unchangeable and we should always try to put it out of our mind unless they are beneficial or beautiful memories.
Anyway, back to the meat thing. We all know that too much of it will eventually clog our arteries and generate all kinds of health problems. I walk around with 200 lbs on a frame that my doc tells me should only have 175 lbs. My only explanation is that, somehow, I believe I’m a healthy 200 lbs. My doctor ordered an echocardiogram last week, so we’ll see what damage all that meat has done to my cardiovascular system. I dunno how it can come back showing problems because I feel as healthy as a horse. We’ll see. I know that I’m a grateful recipient of undeserved grace.
Update: The doctor’s office called and said everything looked good. That made me feel better.
⚽⌘ It seems as if the heat index for our area in Virginia has been over 100° for the past two weeks, thus, our thrice weekly walks really took its toll. It would be easy to say, “to heck with it” and stay inside all day, waiting for cooler weather to prevail. But, upon further reflection, I decided that wasn’t the choice I wanted to make, and it wasn’t a hard decision. Over 200 years ago, families loaded all they had into wagons pulled by horses and trekked all the way from the Eastern Seaboard of our country to the shores of the Pacific coast. They did that in the heat of summer and the cold of winter. Heck, it’s hard for me to visualize anyone today driving a car that far without an air conditioner in it. I wonder what the settlers of that time would think of the people we have become today. Yes, I’m confident we still have strong, sturdy people that roll out of bed every morning and work outside in the extreme heat and cold, but a lot of us don’t, we stay inside and find things to do, rather than open the door and walk into a heat index of 110°.
Well, I decided that I don’t want to be that guy, the one that stays inside and cowers from the heat, I want to stand straight and tall, breathe in that hot humid air and say, to no one in particular, bring it on, I can take it! What I may have failed to mention is that part of my motivation comes from my wife. She heads outside in just about any weather, except the rain, doesn’t want her hair to get wet, other than that she’s finding something to do out there. The odd thing is, she never sweats, nothing, nada, not a drop of salty brine glistens on her forehead. Turn your head and look in my direction and you would assume I was just in someone’s swimming pool with all my clothes on. I don’t quite understand why a person doesn’t sweat when the temp is nudging 99°, but then again, she doesn’t have a lot of meat on her bones, unlike the more than plump guy standing beside her, apparently preparing for his role when Satan opens the gates of Hell. I’m thinking the Lord believes that if he turns up the heat some of this fat will melt from my body, if only I have the willpower to step into his oven.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no desire to be a pioneer, but neither do I want to become a couch potato. I’m going with an old proverb that says, “The best time to plant a tree was ten years ago, the second-best time is now”. My take on that goes like this, “The best time to take a stand was ten years ago, the second-best time is now”. So, tomorrow when that old temperature gauge heads towards 100°, I’m gonna step out into that oven and take a stand, refusing to stay inside where the temps stay around 78° all day and all night. But I will be watching to see if the fat melts away 😊. I am reminded of a quote by Saint Vincent de Paul “Be careful to preserve your health. It is a trick of the devil which he uses to deceive kind souls, to incite them to do more than they are able, in order that they may no longer be able to do anything”. Hmm, maybe I need to rethink this thing?
⌘-⚽ A few months ago, our longtime neighbors (Mary Beth & John) moved about four hours away and their lovely granddaughter (Beth Ann/ Alvin) took over their beautiful home. We now have five handsome boys, anywhere from age 3 to age 12 living next door to us. It saddened our hearts to see our friends move, but we knew it was the right decision. They needed to be near their daughter (Robin/Greg) to get help with their health needs. From experience, I know that as you travel thru life, people enter your circle, stay for a while, and then move on. Some, you miss very little, and then some you miss a lot. Mary Beth and John will be missed terribly. The good news is that when we are finished with COVID-19, we can go visit them. It looks like that will happen in the Spring of 2021 (7 months). By then, we will have been marching in place for a year. That’s a lot of time to relinquish to a virus, especially when you get older and the years you have left get fewer.
Our time “hunkered down”’ here at home isn’t a total disaster. We have visited with family, always using a face mask and social distancing, and gone to the grocery/drug stores for food and other necessities. We spend a lot of time outside working in the yard, hovering over every weed that pops up and immediately sentencing it to the gallows. As soon as a gumball or pinecone hits the ground, it is pounced on and deposited into my handy cart for disposal. As you can tell, I have too much time on my hands. I also spend a lot of time on my PC, but that happens whether we are in the middle of a pandemic, or not 😊.
If I had to decide what activity I miss the most during this stressful time, it would be visiting my family and friends. While all the other stuff is important, bus trips to other cities, dining out weekly, attending church in lieu of virtual services, etc. I miss visiting those dear to me the most. Arthur Brisbane said it best, “A good friend can tell you what is the matter with you in a minute. He may not seem such a good friend after the telling” 😊.
Wherever you are in this world, I hope your family loves you as much as mine loves me. I know you will return their love abundantly. That is my intent as well. I am always grateful that you take the time to read my missives. Until next time, be well….Tommy