2017-03-15 / Editorials

Don Lively


Well, that's going to leave a scar.

I should say, another scar.

This latest injury will, eventually, be a dime sized, perfectly round, pink mound of scar tissue.

My body is covered with jagged slash marks and puncture wounds from six decades of hard living, so, what's one more?

I'll tell you how my newest maiming occurred later, but, for now let me state unequivocally, that it happened as a direct result of the weird, strange, always changing weather here in the Blessed South.

Mother Nature, please make up your mind.

Okay, no emails please.

Yes, I do know that there really isn't a Mother Nature.

Mother Nature is really a Father, in my system of belief.

After all, doesn't the One who directs every thunderbolt where to go (Job 28), Who rebukes and calms the seas (Matthew 8), Who makes it rain in the Fall and in the Spring (Jeremiah 5), doesn't He know exactly when the seasons should change?

I have no doubt that He does.

Still, lately, the weather has been rather schizophrenic, in my humble opinion.

Last week my bride and I were sitting on the deck at The Pond, watching the turtles and the fish, and, occasionally, the lone gator when he graced us with his appearance. It was a beautiful scene, sun reflecting off of the water and the clouds moving lazily from northwest to southeast, headed for Savannah, probably.

It would have been perfect, except for three things.

It was hot as blazes.

The mosquitoes were swarming.

The gnats seemed to be in competition with the skeeters.

That was last week.

Today I did some much delayed work outside, cleaning up an area to make more parking space out front for when we have wild, depraved parties. Kidding about the depraved part. Anyway, because it was so cold, I had to wear wool socks, a stocking cap, a long sleeved tee and my jacket-that-looks-like-Carhartt-but-isn't, just to be able to stand the frigidity. I'd inadvertently left my work gloves in the back of my truck so they were soaked. When I pulled them on, they were so cold I thought I might get frostbite.

Thankfully, I didn't.

The weather has been so unpredictable, when my wife packs for a weekend trip, she has to take clothes for two seasons, which means twice as much luggage and pretty much every pair of shoes she owns.

Last week peach trees were blooming.

My dogwood patch was bursting in its glory.

The frogs and toads were full-throated in their swampy symphonies.

Not so much today.

The dogwoods were shivering just like I was, and the water and tree critters were silent.

God bless our peach farmers.

No telling what next week will bring.

Now, about my newest and freshest injury, here's what happened.

Because it got cold over the weekend, and because I refused to turn the thermostat back up to where it was before the recent mini heat wave, and because I just like to have a fire in the fireplace, I brought in a load of split oak and hickory and built one. I laid a layer of fat lighter and then artfully stacked the firewood over it.

One match.

That's all I allow myself. If I can't get it going with one match, well, I don't know, it's never happened.

Just one match.

Anyway, before long I had a perfect fire to gaze at and enjoy while my nimble brain and my less than nimble fingers tried to work together to create readable scribblings. To me, there's nothing more relaxing than sitting near a good fire on a cool evening.

But, as all fires do, after a while, mine needed stoking.

I carefully selected the best pieces of wood to go onto the fire. Then I carefully opened the safety screen, which by then was rather warm. Then I carefully laid the pieces on top of the coals.

Then I got careless.

Like a blooming idiot, I bumped the heel of my hand against the end of one of the glowing, red hot prongs on the fire grate.

Bad move.

I actually heard it sizzle, y'all.

I'm no medical expert, but, I do know that hearing your own skin sizzle isn't a healthy sound.

It's the weather's fault.

Don't get me wrong, a few weeks from now, when I am boiling in the Southern heat, I'll be longing for frosty nights, so, for my money, Winter can hang around just as long as it likes.

I'll be speaking to Father Nature about that.

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