A Dozen Years through a Haze

A forest fire rages fifty miles north of where I sit typing. I know they are common out west, but I don’t recall one of such significance since I have lived here. The biggest problem for firefighters is the lack of rain. North Georgia hasn’t had significant rainfall since September and forecasters don’t see any in sight. The dry and brittle autumn leaves have turned into a tinder box and the fires rage on. Remarkably, although I am far away, when I go outside I can smell the smoke from the blaze and metro Atlanta is grayed by its smoky haze.


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, our second since losing Kylie. Last year I wrote that being thankful was difficult because the enormity of her loss made it hard to reconcile my blessings. I am a pragmatic person and of course I know that I have been blessed beyond measure. But feelings can be tricky things that blot out reason and logic. Read More

A Rather Curious Decision

Life is full of decisions that directly affect us, but are made without our consent or input. In any highly-contested matter of public policy, we are peppered with opinions and bombarded with exaggerated notions of what will happen if a law is made or amended. One side of the argument sees our country moving to a more progressive society while the other warns of the imminent decay of the very moral fiber of our nation. In a stunning turn of political events, I cannot believe the audacity of our government to pervert something sacred.

Of course, I’m talking about the legalization of fireworks in the state of Georgia. A decision that has shattered the sacred peace of every citizen hoping to find sleep a decent hour.

I am outraged! Who would think it was a good idea to give already over-armed, drunk rednecks flammable and wildly unpredictable projectiles that have the capability to set an entire neighborhood ablaze?

Happy Fourth of July!!!

rainbow fireworks

I’m reminded of a 4th of July family reunion many years ago when my people converged on cabin in the hills of Tennessee. My brother-in-law found it prudent to pick up some fireworks on the way. When the big day came, we sought a safe place to launch our fireworks. We surveyed the landscape and found not a single flat spot an appropriate distance from the cabin.

So, what do two bright young men with an insatiable desire for colorful explosions do? Stack up rocks and sticks to fabricate a semi-flat launching pad. Smart….

Let the festivities begin!

Bottle rocket inserted and wick lit, we took off running in opposite directions. Our makeshift flat surface immediately crumbled and the bottle began to spin like teenagers playing the old flirting game. Imagine the odds: 360 degrees in a circle, with my B-I-L taking up maybe five degrees one direction and me taking up five in another. That leaves 350 available degrees for that bottle rocket to point and fire.

I wish camera phones were available then. Because we would have won the jackpot on America’s Funniest Home Videos.

Of course, that thing didn’t go for the other 350 degrees. It launched directly at my B-I-L’s butt and exploded upon impact. Being a field artillery specialist, I was stunned with its accuracy. In fact, I would wager I couldn’t have held it in my hands and fired for the same effect. He was not so impressed. The pain wasn’t hospital-worthy, but hurt nonetheless. We also had a good bit of tamping to do with the ancillary fires caused by our negligence.

* * * * * * * * * *

We’ve both grown out of our stupid ways (for the most part) and become contributing members of society. A society that now can legally aim bottle rockets straight at us.

In these days when staff reductions have hit state and county employees such as our fine firefighters, bully for you Georgia legislature. Now that you have decided legalizing fireworks is a good idea, I hope each of you live next door to a drunk, excited neighbor who celebrated until 3 a.m. like mine did.

I don’t watch the news, have there been any other decisions with such far-reaching implications made lately?