Sunday, March 30, 2008

Taking Root

A year ago yesterday Miss Brenda and I signed 737 pages of real estate documents and thereby took possession of our dream at the northern end of southern nowhere. Yesterday I asked a neighbor what the "over and under" pool was on how long we rural neophytes would last in the country. He just smiled. Reckon they've seen lots of city folks try their hand at living out here, only to get lonely for the neon flicker and hightail it back to the burbs.

We still have a lot to learn about working the balance of our 57 acre slice of heaven. But, we have both had a lot of practice at adapting to new environments. Moving as often as we have for the first fifty or so years of our lives, kept our root balls tight under our feet. We never put down tap roots. The ground here is not exactly root friendly--hard, both literally and figuratively.

Miss Brenda went on a short business trip to Florida with me last week. All we talked about the whole time was hating the traffic and longing to get back to EegeeBegee.

I feel a root growing.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Slough U

The locusts are gone this morning. They descended in a pandering cloud, stirred up the clamoring crowds, and left the Magnolia State on gusts of political hot air. Attendant to their vote-begging, the mendacious media dredged up every stereotype ever used to describe Mississippi and Mississippians. In their wake they left a social atmosphere charged with animus and bitterness.

This morning, the post-polling punditry and self-serving reportage of the media continues to stir their biased brew of inaccuracies and misunderstanding as they dissect the result of the Democratic Primary. Local liberal columnists are waxing adoringly of the power-hungry panderers who tickled their ears and starred their eyes with practiced stage-presence. It's enough to make anyone with a brain and a clear eye wince in pain.

Note to Fox News: Calling the Mississippi Primary the "Battle for the Bayou" demonstrates that you have either let the interns run your network this week, or worse, you have no earthly idea about the states and locales upon which you report. That backward, Napoleonic throw-back to the west is the "Bayou State." Mississippi has "sloughs" (pronounced slews)--no self-respecting Mississippian (outside of some wayward Louisiana lovers in the southwestern corner of the state, some of whom are actually known to traitorously support LSU) uses the term "bayou" with which to refer to its backwaters.

Soon enough, another state will enjoy the dubious honor of national political attention and my state will thankfully recede into blessed national obscurity. For all of you up north, noticing that Florida and Atlanta have achieved their maximum yankee quotas, please know that Mississippi is a horrible, dangerous, despicable place to live. You wouldn't like it--don't even waste a minute checking us out.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Whacky Weather Warrior

Got a little snow last night, here at the northern end of southern nowhere . When I landed in Memphis yesterday afternoon, back from a quick business trip to Chicago and Kenosha, it was snowing to beat the band. We broke out of the clouds just over Memphis and I thought we had flown back to Chicago by mistake--everything on the ground was white. Luckily, the roads were still clear and I was able to get out of Elvisville with little problem. It was snowing hard on the highway as I headed southeast, but I outran the heavy stuff and by the time I drove through the blessed gates of Eegeebeegee and arrived at the center of the universe, hardly a flake was falling. Overnight, the edge of a storm headed up the Ohio River valley left an inch or two of accumulation--already melting by the time I dragged my sorry butt out of the rack this morning.

Weather extremes seem to follow me around. When I was going to a school in Norfolk in the summer of '95, we had a hurricane making a beeline for us. The forecasters were certain a Category 3 storm was going to roll right up our alley. Classes were shut down and I, still being relatively young and stupid, jumped in my truck and drove the 12 hours back to Montgomery, Alabama where Miss Brenda and the kids were. As soon as I got 6 hours west of the coast, that hurricane stopped on a dime and started drifting off to the northeast. When classes resumed the next day (yep, I drove home, kissed Miss Brenda, hugged the kids and jumped back in the truck for another 12 hours) my Army buddy in the class hung the nickname "Hurricane Magnet" on me.

Seems everywhere I go in my life, that locale is in for some freak weather. Most recent case in point: when we arrived here at the northern end of southern nowhere at the end of last March, the temps were in the 70's and everything had been blooming and budding for several weeks. Within the next week, we endured a cold snap that frost-killed nearly everything that had bloomed. That killing cold-snap was followed by 4 months wherein nary a drop of rain fell. When it did start raining in the vicinity, there was always a dry corridor that persisted right over my head. Did I mention we had a tornado recently? Is there a pattern here? Or am I just being paranoid?

We moved to Atlanta in the fall of '92. Fifteen years ago this month, a blizzard hit Atlanta. Atlanta doesn't get "blizzards!" That storm was more like an inland tropical system--with hurricane force winds.

We moved to the Redneck Riviera in the fall of 2003. They hadn't had a hurricane of any mention in many years. Need I remind you how many hurricanes there were down there the next two years?

The year Miss Brenda and I spent in Seoul, South Korea, we got the heaviest snow Seoul had seen in a generation.

Maybe I'm the real culprit for Global Warming...

Monday, March 03, 2008

Milestone Mention

This post marks a milestone at the Colonel's Corner. The Roman road building authority placed upright roadside stones--milestones--marking the incremental distance away from the city's center. On every road leading from Rome, you knew, often, exactly how far you had traveled from the birthplace of your empire. No imperial comparisons intended here--just threw that in for color. With the posting of this missive, we have written our way 200 times from the beginning of this blog. The first post entered digital ether on the 11th of July, 2005. A hurricane had disrupted our lives on the Redneck Riviera that week, and I used that event to light the sputtering fuse of this blockbuster (ahem) blog.

As I write this, a pounding overhead signals recovery from another storm that has had the temerity to disrupt the idyllic life of the Colonel and Miss Brenda. Roofers are replacing shingles and siding and leaving a larger mess in the yard than the storm did.

I am heartened by the work ethic and industry displayed by the crew that has been here the last several days. They must be college students from a local university. They have spent the entire time they have been here practicing their Spanish for spring midterms. From what I hear, they should do very well on their exams.