This last protracted spell of miserably cold and icy weather was trying in many ways. While I reserve the right to gripe about all the inconveniences imposed on the glamorous lifestyle down on “Route One Millsap,” things could have been much worse. The heat never stopped, electricity continued to flow and, since I am currently on my notorious “dirt and water diet,” and while Miss Helen is always on a diet, we had ample groceries on hand. Unlike many of my friends and neighbors, I didn’t have to get out and go to work in the icy mess. My Social Security check showed up right on schedule, but there are a lot of folks that only get paid if they go to work. In addition, our police, firemen and emergency personnel are especially strained during such winter ice storms.
Despite being richly endowed with life’s practical necessities, my mental state was becoming a bit frayed. Being cooped up in the house for days on end gives an old-timer such as me a lot of time to do nothing. Naps are a good thing, but how many can a person fit into a single day? Eating is out of the question due to my dietary constraints. Any sane human being can only tolerate so many email forwards and web surfing before beginning to scream and tear at one’s hair. The only thing left is to sit back with a nice cup of coffee (black, mind you) and read the newspapers, and later in the day go through the mail. Not so fast, sailor boy … The newspapers and the mail could not be delivered for several days due to icy, snow covered roads. A huge and critical part of my typical daily routine was snatched away by Nobel laureate Al Gore’s devastating “global warming,” never to be seen again.
Out of desperation during this “weather event,” as the television talking heads call it, I resorted to reading the e-Editions of the Weatherford Democrat, Mineral Wells Index and Star-Telegram. I admit to being an old fogey who is set in his ways. As such, I prefer to think of it as doing things my way instead of in a manner not of my choosing. I find that sitting hunched over a computer monitor fidgeting with a mouse and keyboard does not compare to leaning back with my printed edition newspaper and a hot cup of coffee (black, mind you). I know how to adapt, but that doesn’t mean I want to do so. I know how to eat broccoli, but by golly you can’t make me like it.
What’s wrong with being old and set in your ways? Having already consumed my allotted lifetime of over three score and ten, I have seen much of the world, witnessed diverse cultures, listened to all sorts of music and sampled all the ethnic food that I could endure. I know what I like, what I prefer to live without and what I absolutely despise. While the options are still available, why willingly compromise my preferences?
I believe it was Mark Twain who said, “Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions.” I’ve made my share of bad ones, so now it’s time to reap the benefits of a lifetime of experience.
Larry M. Jones is a retired Navy commander and aviator who raises cattle and hay in the Brock/Lazy Bend part of Parker County. Comments may be directed to email@example.com.