Old News is Still Funny

I’m sitting here looking through some old newspaper columns I wrote way back when I worked for the Whitley Republican in Williamsburg, KY.

What a hoot!

Back then I wrote a lot like I write now — blogs anyway. The blog kinda took the place of what was once a column. Maybe they’re still called columns in newspaper lingo. I’m outta that loop now.

This was not too many years after Elvis passed to that great Graceland in the sky. I decided to write a column about the hubbub surrounding opinions that Elvis still walked among us. I know, it’s a little out there.

If you care to read my novice small town reporter ramblings from long ago, here is that column:

Please Let Elvis, and Us, Rest in Peace

Ok, Elvis, come out and let us all in on the big joke.

I’ve figured it out. Elvis is still alive and he’s putting all those commercials about himself on television to drive us crazy.

Any time of the day or evening, flip on the tv and see commercials promoting books about Elvis or phone numbers to call for messages he supposedly made four years after his death. If he has made a call to anyone recently I sincerely hope they didn’t accept the charges!

There are also “one of a kind” Elvis dolls, Elvis Hawaiian hula lamps and black velvet paintings of “the king”. Oh, I almost forgot, a new Elvis credit card is now available to make it oh so easy to afford all of this.

There are also experts on cable talk shows who share their theories on where Elvis is keeping himself these days. Some say he has been seen in Michigan and others are sure he’s on a tropical island. Personally I would choose the tropical island. Not to slight Michigan, but I lived there. And now for my theory. If he’s on a tropical island somewhere, chances are he wants to be left alone.

Perhaps visitors to Graceland should look a little closer. Who’s the maintenance man there now, anyway? Yes, that has never been addressed on one of those Elvis commercials. Or what about the one room that was shut up and has never been opened since his death? Any true Elvis hound (no pun intended) wouldn’t rest until these mysteries are cleared up.

Oh no. What if I’ve started something else now. If I see one commercial about this on cable tv I’m contacting someone about royalty rights. After all, everybody else is making money off him.

So, is Elvis dead or alive? I happen to be in the ever shrinking minority who believes he has been gone since August 16, 1977. If that date isn’t right I’m not to blame. I got it from one of the those commercials.

Not that I sit around thinking about it. I’m just so tired of seeing Elvis this and Elvis that everywhere I go. I’m afraid that it will wash my brain so much that I will start to think about it and plan a pilgrimage to Memphis. And before, all I ever wanted to go there for was to see the Mississippi.

Come on all you Elvis promo pushers. Let us, and Elvis, rest in peace.

Pandemic Life in Hooterville

Is it ok to say this whole “pandemic” thing has had me the least little bit stressed?

I don’t even mean the virus itself. I pray over that whole mess and leave it there. The sudden change to my predictable rut is what’s had me out of sorts. 

The biggest obstacle I’ve had working from home turned out to be unreliable internet. Rainy days ruined any hopes for connecting to the work world. For awhile I felt like I lived in Hooterville –  went outside looking for a telephone pole to climb.

It turns out my former internet supplier had things hooked up inside a plastic box by the side of the road where rain runoff could flood and/or a car could slide into and knock the whole thing to kingdom come. I do live in Hooterville! I even had to set up shop at my neighbor’s house for a few days until we switched over to a new provider.

In the midst of all this, my day job hasn’t slowed down a bit. This is probably the busiest time of year for a medical school, so I have been mucho busy (and stressed!) learning how to lend support via electronic means and making sure the learning environment still happened for our group. 

My technical creativity went up, while my writing creativity took a bit of a nosedive. Writing anything worth reading was just not happening. My brain felt like it had taken one too many rides on the tilt-a-whirl. Jesus take the wheel!

I decided that the tide had to turn or I was going to go get a job at the doughnut factory and forget everything else. That’s my contingency plan, anyway.  Getting up early every morning to go make the doughnuts isn’t the worse thing that could happen.

Until I resign myself to rolling out dough for a living, I will be writing the dough. Maybe I’ll invent blog doughnuts with messages on them. See, I know God has a perfect plan for me. Why else would He give me all these whacky ideas? Some will come to life in this blog, some in books and in other avenues. 

The bottom line is that even though I get stressed, I don’t have to let stress overtake me and have me so turned around that I can’t even find my way out of a paper bag.

I think it’s the same for all of us. Fear will present itself. It tries to look like a big ‘ol bully coming in to steal your lunch, eat your peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and then pop the bag  in your face. Fear don’t care.

The truth is, fear is only as big as you let it be in your life. There is a defense that’s way more reliable than gloves and masks (no, I’m not saying don’t wear your gloves and masks). When you get into God’s Word and find out what He says about you and about standing up to fear, you’ll realize that you don’t have to run off and hide from everything. You can stand strong in faith.

So, make a decision to live! Live in the face of all the bad news. In fact, turn off the news. Let go of stress. Live like you’ve never lived before.

Go forward on purpose.

Don’t Fence Me In

Thank goodness I have plenty of room to roam during all this quarantining that’s going on. I know everyone doesn’t have a farm next door to wander through or neighbors you can sit with in the driveway waiting for sunset so you can take photos. I’m sorry for all of you living in crowded cities who are in that predicament and I’m praying for you.

I’m praying for all of us.

We aren’t used to this. Saturdays are for running the roads and stopping to eat lunch wherever you have a mind to. Weekdays are for being at work with your workmates and meeting in the kitchen for coffee and talking … ahem … discussing important work matters.

Working from home really isn’t so bad. I’ve always wanted to work from my living room office and have my own private bathroom stocked with all my stuff. Another bonus — my dogs are here! Every day is “take your dog to work” day!! Yep, it’s kinda nice. I know I’ll miss this when we return to our offices. Do you think they’ll let me bring my dogs with me? Pets help relieve stress– it’s been proven.

I also miss going to church and seeing all my friends up close and in person. (well, not too close — I was never one for that even before the pandemic hit)

People, we’ve got to figure out a way to get back to semi-normal and still be safe! I need my Hobby Lobby fix!! You can only shop online so much. I like to browse and look at stuff, feel the textures on the fake wood and imagine how I’m going to decorate a room or whatever I’m fixin’ up. I want to wander through the aisles listening to the church music. It’s so relaxing. I could almost lay down in the floor and take a nap right in the middle of the place. Maybe I should take my pillow and blanket next time — I’ll go in when they’re about to close and hide out in the candle aisle. They’ll never know I’m there until the next morning when the opening crew comes in and finds me snoozing away, with a snowman from the Christmas clearance section tucked under my blanket. Don’t worry, I’ll pay for it. I don’t steal from the Lord’s home decor store (or anywhere else, for that matter)!

I know all of this will be over sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I’m going to look at all the good going on in my life and enjoy the *pause*.  I am still working everyday, but there’s something to be said for not having to put on makeup and then drive through traffic and redlight cameras to get to work. And gas prices are down!! Though I’m not really using much gas right now. But that’s another point to ponder.

The key is – Count your blessings. Help your neighbor whenever you can. Be kind.  And know that you’re going to have to wait a few minutes outside in line at the Mexican restaurant when you go pick up your order of burritos with extra salsa.

When all this is close to being over, you just might find me by the door at Hobby Lobby waiting patiently for them to open back up. I might spend my whole vacation week in there. Don’t judge.

 

The Daze After Christmas

It’s the daze after Christmas and all through the house… someone or something is always stirring, it could be a mouse.

But not likely because the barn cats have given them chase, keeping them away from our dwelling place.

I don’t wear a kerchief and the Doublewide husband doesn’t wear a cap to sleep. The dogs were all settled, with nary a peep.

Until we hear gunshots — don’t they know it’s the middle of the night! I glance at the clock in case the news reports a body found. I’ll be able to to testify what time I heard the sound.

Then what do I hear, when I’m just about to doze off? A truck running up the road with loud mufflers. I scoff.

The temps have been warm, so no snow to reflect the moon. I glance out the window to see that the cats have gathered for their morning food. Getting ready to serve them breakfast of cat chow and leftovers, I put on my jacket and boots.

Back in the house, I make coffee and sit down. What will I do with my time now that Christmas has left town?

I know what to do! This is the ticket! I’ll go after-Christmas shopping for next year and when I get home I’ll hide it.

In December 2020 when I’m looking for all the good gifts I found for 80% off — after I search through all the closets and shelves and up in the loft …. it will be evident it’s all lost and I’ll have to run out again. On Christmas Eve next year, that’ll be me rummaging through the gift card bin.

 

 

 

 

 

AARP, I’m not Ready for Thee!

Just because I’m watching The Waltons on a Friday night does not mean that I’m interested in a policy for final expenses.

I’ve realized the drug and insurance companies love to advertise on the tv channels I like to watch. They think only senior citizens watch the oldies. I have to endure ads about incontinence and Jitterbug phones right in the middle of  Andy Griffith. The nerve of them assuming that I need any of that, because I’m watching  reruns of shows I saw in their original form in the 60’s and 70’s.

I’m a tad offended.

“Do you have frequent urges to go to the bathroom?”
“Does sitting for long periods of time seem like torture?”

No! I want to watch The Lucy Show and not have to see somebody cringing in pain while dancing to “Boogie Nights” on a gallbladder commercial.  Please get off my tv. Just because I’m over 40 and like the oldie shows does not mean that I have the heartbreak of psoriasis.

I’ll tell you what heartbreak is — having to sit through those commercials.

Pharmaceutical companies are using  pop songs that were popular in the 70’s and 80’s to push their drugs, too. If I have to listen to another Earth, Wind and Fire song while hearing a voiceover tell me all about stool softener… Why do they think I might even need that? My stool habits are none of their beeswax. Watching Lawerence Welk and Gilligan’s Island isn’t fun anymore.

What’s coming next? Nursery rhymes advertising wrinkle cream? The younger set will be combating the aging process before they even start grade school.

I can see it now– the spokesperson would probably be a kid from a baby food commercial. A whole dance team dressed like characters from Frozen twirling around on screen with a jar of snowflakes that claims to freeze everything it’s applied to so little ones can maintain that “just born” look throughout life. “Quick – act before you turn eight — or it will be too late!”

I think I’ll pass. In fact, I’m starting my own revolt against all the so-called experts who  invade my late night tv viewing. While the geriatric ads are running, I’ll make my way to the kitchen and eat something loaded with bacon and butter – all the stuff they warn you about.
Pour some sugar on that.

Rock On, my friends. Rock On.

 

Just Drive

I’m not always so nice when I drive. I admit it.

There’s something about being behind the wheel, trying to get where I’m going. I tend to see other drivers as the cars they’re in or I identify them by the county on their tag. I either yell at the Lexus or the F-150, or at Sullivan County, Greene County, what in the world are doing on my highway, North Carolina? … you get the picture.

It usually goes a little like this:

“Come on! Let’s get a move on!

“Hello — I’m right here! Road hog!

“Alright, Ford, the light’s green… you can go anytime.”

It’s easy to yell at somebody if you see them as a hunk of metal or an entire region of the country going down the road.

Turn that perspective around.

What would it be like if we drove invisible cars…? We would be able to see everybody around us much better – they wouldn’t be behind tinted windows and doors. Yikes! That means I would have to keep my car clean. Oops. It currently looks like a rolling Salvation Army resale store. Need a shirt, pants or pair of shoes? Just be careful opening the doors!

I think I would definitely see people with a different attitude if I could see them that clearly. I don’t think I would yell and rant … quite so much.

The nicer me would surely be there behind the wheel, smiling and waving them on. I know I would be a lot more thoughtful.

We’re all in the same boat.. er.. car.

Aren’t you glad that Jesus, even after seeing us with all our junk in the trunk, loves us unconditionally? I sure am. I’m glad He gently reminds me that I need to be nice and treat people more like He does.

He knows everything about us. He knows our beginning and our end and accepts us. He sure won’t leave you the same — you can’t stay the same old you after encountering Him.   You’ll see the world around you differently.

You might even be a better driver.  I know I’m going to be more thoughtful when I go down the road.

Now, outta my way! 🙂