Thursday, July 31, 2014

Love Letter

The Colonel begs your permission to dispense, for the duration of this post, with his customary use of the third person (or, as the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda refers to it, the literary version of nails on a chalkboard).  

I have something personal to say to my wife.

I want to tell my wife of thirty-eight years, as of roughly 30 minutes ago, that you have always been the best thing in my life.  That's saying something, because God has blessed me with many, many, very good things.

You have almost always been the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning, and almost always the last thing I think of when I go to sleep.

Why almost?

Well, I'd be telling a lie if didn't admit to, on the very rare occasion, thinking about the opening day of duck season or the game-winning field goal as I woke up or fell asleep.

Not gonna let a stupid duck or some lucky college kid make a liar out of me.

You have almost always been the first person with whom I've wanted to share a secret or a remarkable sight.

Almost, because there were a couple of secrets and sights to which I was privy over the years that I would just as soon forget.  

The one sight I will never forget was you, the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, walking down the aisle to marry me.

To marry me!

I cannot ever get over just how lucky I am that you are mine. 

Luckier than a bob-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

Luckier than the second mouse to the cheese.

Luckier than a bug in a traffic jam.

Just so you know, Miss Brenda; it may have been an incredibly lucky stroke that made you mine, but there ain't nuthin' or nobody lucky (or strong) enough to take you away from me. 

You are my anchor.

If I had a muse (or knew what a muse was), you would be it.

I love you more than anything -- duck hunting and Ole Miss football included.

I love your smile, your laugh, your pout, your frown; I love the way you can do all four in the space of one breath.

You are the one person in all the world I trust without condition.  

You hold my heart in your hands.

Thirty-eight years.  

I want to live to ninety-six -- just so I can have thirty-eight more.  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Foggy Feelin's

Fog enshrouds the kudzu-clad hills this morning, here at the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere.  

It's cool outside.  The Colonel checked at dawn, sitting on the front porch and listening to the birds announce another day; a strong cup of coffee warming him and clearing the fog of sleep.

It won't stay cool.  The brief respite from the swelter of summer is over.  It'll be hot and humid before too long, this morning.

There's a pile of projects waiting completion.  Seems the Colonel's re-retirement is less restful than ever, what with the frantic folly of filling his time with all the things he didn't have time for when all he could do was dream about having time to do them.

But, it's foggy still; and cool outside; and the Colonel remembers the dream of being able to just do nothing.

Watch the hummingbirds gang up to fill up.

Listen to the mourning doves mourn.

See the sun rise red and filtered by the gray mists of morning.

Catch the scent of flowers advertising.

It'll be hot and humid soon; reminding of long marches in the sun, and times when the march was all there was.

No more marches.  

Just memories by the score, and no scorecard to keep 'em straight. 


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Revive Manifest Destiny

The Colonel has always loved the flag of the United States.

While the sight of its broad stripes and bright stars never fails to cause him to catch his breath; the Colonel's love, and deep respect, for our national flag goes far beyond its bold colors and striking symmetry.

The Colonel loves "for which it stands."

A Republic of free people, and for free people.

The American Republic, for all its blemishes and faults, has advanced the cause of freedom -- best expressed as "personal liberty" -- farther, wider, and deeper than any nation in the history of nations.  

And, as much as the Colonel loves the flag of the United States of America, he fervently believes it is time to change it -- again.

It's time to add another 50 stars.

The Colonel isn't taking about the balkanization of the existing republic.  (You Californians are so self-absorbed!)

The Colonel believes the only way our republic -- of and for the people -- can survive another 200 years, is to do what made it great in its first two centuries.


There is, the Colonel believes, a very good reason the founders of our republic did not call the new nation the United States of North America.

Today, our nation is gripped in paroxysms of popular expression -- even manifesting itself in acts of outrage -- not seen since the "Nativist" movement in response to the last great wave of immigration over a century ago.

Compassion and Security have become competing watchwords in the current kerfuffle over the tide of humanity sweeping across our southern border.

They need not be.

There are those who say that our southern border must be "secured."  And by that, they mean that we must build and occupy defensive positions to prevent any unauthorized passage northward.

While the Colonel could do just that; give him a respectable fraction of the manpower and resources of our military and he will reduce the illegal immigration, drug and people trafficking, and flood of cheap labor to a barely perceptible trickle; occupying defensive positions is destructive to personal, organizational, and national morale.  No nation, of any impact in world history (Switzerland being perhaps the lone exception to the rule), has ever maintained its sovereignty, let alone relevancy, by remaining on the defensive.  

There are those who say our southern border should be compassionately wide open to anyone seeking a better, more secure, life.

The Colonel actually agrees with that last sentiment.  Our nation should, and can, welcome anyone who wishes to become a loyal, productive, law-abiding citizen of our republic. 

It's the significantly large percentage of border-crossers harboring other than productive, law-abiding motives that the Colonel has a problem with.

Pay attention -- attempting to solve the humanitarian and national security crisis at our southern border via compassionate and defensive measures, at our southern border, is LUNACY!

Instead of building a Maginot Line on the Rio Grande, we should expand our republic to Tierra del Fuego.

The Colonel will pause to let the Bama Bandwagon Boors and LSU graduates a chance to catch up -- you see, after WWI, the French built the Maginot Line, an incredible series of seemingly impregnable fortifications along their border with Germany, to keep the German Army from invading..., again.  (See Spring of 1940, for a case study of the strategic effectiveness  of that idea). 

Now, bear with the Colonel.  He's not necessarily advocating a full-scale military invasion of the rest of the Western Hemisphere -- as fun as that would be.  The United States should, instead, encourage the people of countries to our south, whose governments cannot and will not provide security and prospect for prosperity, to rise up and petition for admission to the American Republic as States.  

The long-term security and prosperity of every inhabitant of the AMERICAN HEMISPHERE depends on unity under the greatest form of government ever devised by man -- the Constitution of the United States of America. 

"But, what about Canada, Colonel?

The more the merrier!      

Friday, July 11, 2014

Berry Good

The sign on the wall in the kitchen says, "The only reason I have this kitchen is it came with the house."

The Colonel's Lady, the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda, is no stranger to the kitchen.  It's just that they aren't normally on speaking terms.

Make no mistake.  Miss Brenda cooks.  And, well.

She just isn't addicted to it.

The Colonel probably has his still battle-ready physique to thank for that.  He's a food-a-holic.  If Miss Brenda really liked to cook, the Colonel would be as big as a house.

Most southern women have a signature dish.  One that is remembered generationally and spoken of in the reverence and awe normally reserved for SEC football coaches.

The comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda doesn't sign autographs.
There is, however, an exception to every rule.  In the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda's case, the "These hands shall not touch pot nor skillet" commandment is broken every year around the end of June and the beginning of July.

Here at the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere fiendish flora flower and fruit.  Eleven months out of the year, the thorn-bearing canes elicit howls of pain and misery from errant passersby.

But, yea, verily in the twelfth month the cane doth produce heavenly fruit.


Just writing that word makes the Colonel's mouth water.

And, what the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda can do with a mess of blackberries should probably be illegal.

She makes blackberry jam.

The comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda's blackberry jam would bring peace to the Middle East.

If Marse Robert had put a jar of the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda's blackberry jam on the table in front of him at Appomattox Courthouse, Grant would have surrendered to Lee.

Familial fistfights have broken out in the Colonel's household over the last jar of the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda's blackberry jam.

The Colonel kids thee not, when extended family visits from out of town, the first thing they do is present the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda with an empty jar.  The Colonel's Lady reciprocates with a new jar of jam and familial peace is assured for the remainder of the visit.

A spoonful of the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda's blackberry jam slathered on a piece of cardboard will make you run out and buy stock in Georgia Pacific.

For the 'Bama fans and LSU "colige graduits" who may be scratching hat racks:  Georgia Pacific is a company that makes cardboard.  Miss Brenda's jam is so good that...  

...oh, never mind.