After taking a two-week hiatus from column writing, it’s good to be back again.
It’s not that I don’t love sharing my thoughts, it’s mainly because my thoughts were frozen in a writer’s block, kind of like Iowa was frozen in a winter vortex or whatever you want to call it last month. It was too cold and snowy for this southern boy!
I came up with a few ideas and tossed around a few sentences in a Word document, but then it was nothing…I mean, nothing!
Outside of a few months of winter misery, icy cold mornings and the car not starting and such, Iowa is a good place to live.
I met my lovely wife here, who I much adore. There’s the Iowa State Fair and my ultimate favorite event, the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion held Labor Day weekend. I’ve also made a number of friends in this fine state, all of who I appreciate and value.
Last week one day, I pulled into the Montezuma Caseys to top off my fuel tank. I swiped my credit card and took one look at the price, $2.69 for a gallon of regular ethanol blend. That is a 20 cent price increase from a week earlier.
After returning home, I decided to post my displeasure on Facebook, simply making the statement, “That the price of gas is out of control.”
I don’t often comment on Facebook about such things as gas prices, politics or religion, outside of a scripture or two or some kind words.
But when it takes nearly half a day of my wages to fill my fuel tank, I thought it a worthy topic to discuss.
Well, as I expected, that set off a firestorm of comments that quickly turned political, including some nasty name calling.
That brings me to my column topic.
Name calling is something I did in elementary school. It is not something we should be doing as adults.
People are not stupid or ignorant and should not be labeled as such under any condition, no matter their beliefs, convictions, political party, looks, color, religion and so on.
Calling people nasty names and pointing fingers and blaming others for our nation’s problems because they believe one way or another will not bring change to our nation.
Our time could be better spent building our communities, or neighborhoods and bringing positive change through volunteering and doing good for others.
Growing up in Oklahoma, my mom was a Republican and my dad was a Democrat. They spent 52 years together. When they voted, they didn’t talk about it or share their decisions at the dinner table.
My dad worked in a factory for nearly 40 years. His company built large pumps that moved crude oil through pipelines.
He was a proud member of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Union. He paid his dues and took great pride in his work and the Democrat Party.
My mom came to Oklahoma from rural Missouri after graduating high school in 1955. She followed her Uncle J.B. and Aunt Rosemary to Tulsa. They owned a furniture store on the north side of Tulsa.
Mom had a two dollar bill and when she needed money, she would give it to Uncle J.B. in exchange for two one dollar bills from his store cash register. When she earned enough money, she bought the $2 bill back. I now have the $2 bill and the memories that go with it.
She worked for Oral Roberts Ministries for a time and later landed a job with the Skelly Oil Company in Tulsa. In my early years, she baby sat for my cousin, raising enough money to purchase a piano so I could take lessons.
After spending years as a homemaker and cake baker, Mom returned to the work force in the late 1980s and contributed greatly to our family through her giving heart.
My parents, who met through a mutual friend, came together, lived together, and brought two boys into this world. They learned to love, to work hard, to save, to take care of their home, to attend church, to give and to get along, even with their political differences.
They taught me the good book and to treat others with kindness and respect, even though we are all different.
That’s good advice and something I believe more people in this country need to take to heart. That is real climate change.
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.