As a general rule, I try to walk or jog, around my circular driveway most nights. It's 2/10 of a mile, so it serves as sort of a track.
Actually, I should never use the words "I" and "a track" in the same sentence. But I suppose it could be a track if you put the right person on it. Often, my 5-year-old T-Rex, great white shark hybrid boy tags along. It is somewhat depressing that he can outrun me, stays largely out front, and at the end of two or three miles he's as fresh as a Gerber daisy. I, on the other hand, generally require medical attention.
A few days ago he was traveling in front as I labored through another round. He looked back walking backward, faster than I was walking forward, and said "Daddy, why do you walk out here in a circle every night?" I could tell his little wheels were turning and he was probably thinking I'd lost my mind, which is what I think every night when I walk around the driveway. I responded, "Well son, I want to stay healthy and live a long time." He said, "So, you can live forever, Daddy, right?" I laughed and said, "Yea, that's the plan." He then said, "You know, Daddy, when people die, they don't just die. But they go to heaven and live forever, right?" I said, "Yea, if they're good they do." He pondered a moment and then said, "Well, if you live forever in heaven, you can eat cake every day, isn't that right, Daddy?"
And to the 5-year-old, category-five hurricane, I suspect that does sound like heaven.
On the other end of the spectrum, the day of the great snow, my angel, rule-following 6-year-old daughter informed me, "I've been praying for as long as I can remember that it would snow, and it finally happened." I explained prayer sometimes take time to be answered so you have to be persistent and patient. "I sure was, Daddy. But do you think maybe God needs a few extra angels or something, 'cause next time I'm hoping he won't be so slow," replied the little angel. At this point, I decided not to tell her I'd been praying my hair would come back for 20 years. Well regardless, slow or fast, she's now a firm believer in the power of prayer.
Speaking of prayer, it's my observation that the Southern male needs lots of prayer when it comes to building snowmen. I traveled throughout the neighborhood and all around Southwest Georgia the day after the snow to view the splendor and beauty. Instead, I saw one monstrosity after another of a snowman. Most of them looked like something out of the "Night of the Living Dead." I saw the Leaning Tower of Snowmen, the Pig Pen Snowman, the What in God's name is that snowman, and the It is too damn cold to be out here so I made a snowman about 4 inches tall snowman. I don't know who was building all the snowmen around South Georgia, but I assure you I do not want any of them building the next bridge I have to travel over.
At any rate, I suspect the next great snow my children will be grown, I'll be walking around the nursing home track, hopefully eating cake, while my daughter prays for my wayward soul and folks down here will still be building lopsided snowmen.
Contact columnist T. Gamble at firstname.lastname@example.org.