It’s not that I’ve arrived at the age of perfection, but I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I respect those of you who do.
I’m happy to be one of the beneficiaries of a vow, if not a resolution, of a faithful reader of this column who occasionally has targeted me with sharp-tongued criticism.
“My goal is to make every damned remaining moment count for something good,” he wrote. “No more hate and that kind of stuff. Life’s too short and (most) people are too precious. My apologies to all for the sometimes harsh and hateful e-mails I have sent. All best for the rest of your lives.”
That’s a resolution we might all keep.
One of the most memorable resolutions is one a friend adopted: Never to again eat stewed okra. I’ll also amen that one.
Policing the hen house
Why is it that almost everything new and innovative and, yes, often weird seems to originate in California?
Among the new laws going into effect across the country, California has one that caught my fancy.
It makes it illegal to keep egg-laying chickens cooped up. As most farm-bred boys know, that’s an inconvenience for hen owners.
I remember a childhood when it was my duty to spy on hens that had a habit of laying their eggs in brush piles, the hay loft or some other secluded outpost.
Tell me, who is going to enforce such a law?
Will there be chicken police sneaking around to determine if some penned-up chicken is a laying hen?
Claims to fame
Most of us like to claim connection with some celebrity or another or a moment when we touched some garment of greatness.
Following the column on the president’s annual turkey pardoning, reader Bob McMillan of Kinston proudly informed me that his son, Keith, who majored in horticulture and psychology at Sandhills Community College, is in charge of presidentially pardoned turkeys at Morven Park farm and tourist center near Leesburg, Va.
Pardoned turkeys once lived out their lives at Mount Vernon. Now they enjoy their leisure and celebrity status at Morven Park under the supervision of Keith, the groundskeeper.
Yes, we are all imbued with some degree of Show and Tell.
While I was editor of The Raleigh Times, our two little girls sometimes accompanied us to the annual convention of the American Society of Newspaper Editors.
One year, when the editors met in Washington, D.C., the children accompanied us to a White House reception.
Shortly thereafter, the 6-year-old’s first-grade teacher told us that during Show and Tell, Katherine had unfurled a strip of toilet paper and announced, “This is toilet paper that came from the president’s bathroom at the White House.”
With the thermometer reading 20 degrees, a deranged male bluebird in desperate need of a bath happily splashed in the icy birdbath on the patio.