Thursday, January 24, 2013

Time To Thaw Out And Bloom, Idiot

From Sunday's Times and News-Star

It’s been so cold this week, I saw a lawyer with his hands in his OWN pockets.

But seriously, folks…it has been cold. And sometimes warm. It’s almost like living in North Louisiana.

Maybe that’s why most everyone I know has either been sick or has children that have been sick. Or are sick. Sick is bad.Have you noticed that we seldom get the “pretty” cold weather? We get a “wintery mix.” Sleet and ice and wind. I don’t like a wintery mix. Too mixy. 

But four months from now when it’s 95, we’ll be wishing it were cooler. (I won’t.) We’re hardly ever satisfied anyway, so perhaps God and the weather know what’s best.

It’s been a cold week in other ways. My friend Russell’s mom, married to Russell’s dad for 58 years, passed away. I remember helping Russell Hedges type his first Friday night football deadline story at The Times 20 years ago. He and his mom and his dad have been through quite a few football seasons together. I wish things were different; I wish they’d have had a few more.

And Frank Page, the Dean of Shreveport Radio, the Chairman of the (Radio) Board, passed away at age 87. If you’ve never read “Frank and Helen Page: A Lifetime at KWKH,” written by Frank and his friend Max Short, give it a try. What a gentleman. He signed his book for me this way: “Your voice is not dipped in gold, but your pen is.” HA! A stretch by him, perhaps, but coming from a Country Music Hall of Famer and husband to Helen of 68 years, I’ll take it. An interesting coincidence that he died Jan. 9, one day after Elvis birthday. The airwaves are a bit less rich with Mr. Frank silent. But I still have him on tape, thank goodness. Introducing Elvis…

And Jim Montgomery. Writer. Actor. Friend to all. Lover of beauty. Country man about town. I’ll have to write about him next week, if I can get it all straight in my brain. Were it not for Mr. Jim, I would have written zero columns in this newspaper, and that’s probably No. 28 on my list of “Reasons I Liked Him.” Beautiful person.

I wonder in the new year if I can be better about being friends with people and telling them how much they’re thought of and appreciated, people such as the ones we’ve talked of here. I read about a guy who made it a point to write one “thank you” note a day. I’m good for maybe two or three a week. Is that enough?

One of my dearest friends had for years a needlepoint framed on the wall behind her desk. “Bloom where you are planted,” it reminded us. She reminded us too, and still does, even in her retirement. She lives on that advice and encourages us to do the same.

But it is easier to think about blooming “when things are different,” or when I’m somewhere else, than it is to think about blooming today. It is easier to miss the moment than to live in it. It’s easier to think about the sunshine than to live in the wintery mix.

I’m hopeful of living wiser so I can catch more of the authenticity in moments and in people. You know, maybe learning that there are lessons in the ice as well as in the sunshine. And accepting that some weeks, some days, it’s just going to be cold. All over. No matter what.