I was on the front porch when you drove by and I waved, thinking that probability is best recognized early.
I took my first long summer walk around town and arrived at Mac Anderson Park just in time to experience the first violent weather of the season as a storm struck without warning, an angry mix of large hail and funnel clouds. The sky turned black, rain fell in sheets and howling winds tore limbs from trees. This was Biblical weather, God was speaking. I returned home wide-eyed and water soaked, quoting scripture from the book of Revelation, looking as though I’d been attacked by a weed-eater.
This was all brought on, obviously, by enthusiasm for the past 10 days of balmy summer weather which caused people to wear shorts and sandals and roll out the gas grills, all based on the assumption that ideal weather would continue.
Never. Ever. Assume.
This was drilled into us as little kids.
At Junius H. Rose High School in 1970 we had a great football team and were headed for certain conference glory but were stopped by a team of military brats from Havelock. You learn unlikelihood nudges disaster towards inevitability, thus whenever I board an airplane I think, “My life now ends. Farewell, my sweet darlings.”
This acceptance of imminent disaster wards off bad mojo and keeps the airplane flying. Carry an umbrella to work and it won’t rain.
Many people believe if they eat right and exercise, they’ll live to be 100. I don’t. I believe a healthy lifestyle increases the odds that I’ll be struck by a concrete pilaster falling off a building just as I’m coming out of the gym. You don’t see a lot of pilasters (my new word for the week) in today’s architecture, but I’m sure there’s one out there, weakening, waiting to fall and kill me.
My grandmother would tell me stories about winter hog killings on the farm and how two of her children, born as twins and who died at birth, were buried across the road from her house. Mr. Rogers and Big Bird never addressed such topics. My grandmother saw no reason to protect us from harsh reality --- bad things happen, it’s part of life. She would instruct me to stand back as she chopped the head off a chicken, so as to avoid the gushing arterial blood. How many children in today’s society have observed a sweet elderly relative wearing a cotton bonnet, swing an ax, decapitate a bird, and watch the headless body run about in circles? Not many.
For the past several decades many in this country have stacked their hopes and well-being on political elections, assuming the right person would win wearing a white robe and sandals who loves organic tea and holds out his or her hands while butterflies come and perch on them. Others hope for a card-carrying NRA member who eats only red meat. Meanwhile, Hollywood urges the acceptance of anything to solve everything. Yet, elections never solve our problems.
Forced liberal tolerance has made us academically and morally weak. Our freedom is fading while we fight the good fight against plastic straws.
We’re saturated in politics and lacking the Judeo-Christian values that built this country. As a result, the world may soon eat our lunch and drink our chamomile tea, with no apology for hurting our feelings. This was unlikely a generation ago.
I am now looking out the window at blue skies and have a taste for fried chicken.
Having shared my thoughts, it’s time for a walk. I’ll keep an eye out for storms and falling pilasters. Enjoy the day.
Readers can write to Joe at Joehud@hotmail.com and Facebook. He is the author of “Big Decisions are Best Made with Hot Dogs."