South Louisiana Sleet: Better than Ice! Friday, Jan 31 2014 

We battened down the hatches Wednesday for snow or freezing rain. We got sleet. Two tenths of an inch in the measurement after the thaw.

For limbs and branches falling on power lines, so much better!

Sleet or snow? What's the difference?  It's frozen and it's white, and this far south, it's rare!

Sleet or snow? What’s the difference? It’s frozen and it’s white, and this far south, it’s rare!

The Winter of Our Content: Snow Daze! Sunday, Jan 26 2014 

I can count the snow days off from school or work in my 60+ year life on the Gulf Coast on one hand. They have been few and far between.

This graphic shows what's predicted for us come Tuesday.

This graphic shows what’s predicted for us come Tuesday.

So along comes 2014. We got a snow day last Friday–a day of chillin’ out and watching retro TV syndications. Now, with a winter storm watch issued this afternoon for Tuesday coming up, is another snow day in view? Twice not just in the same year, but within a week? Sure looks like it.

Rare as snow days are, I’ll take ’em as I can get ’em. Summer with its heat and humidity will be here soon enough and last long enough. For now, we got gas for the generator in case the lights go out, so let it snow!

12 Gauge Family Lore: Lest we forget what matters! Tuesday, Jan 21 2014 

I’ve had my late PaPaw’s historic Winchester Model 10 shotgun since I was in my 20’s. Mama observed I was the only Pulling descendant at the time who hunted, so she trusted the heirloom to my care. The story behind the gun is worth noting, if in fact it’s the gun of historical record. It’s certainly old enough to be. Here’s the gist of the story, as I recall my father relating it.

I recently passed PaPaw's gun down to my son.  We tested it in the field a few weeks ago.  May that gun serve to remind the next generation!

I recently passed PaPaw’s gun down to my son. We tested it in the field a few weeks ago. May that gun serve to remind the next generation!

In the early years of my grandfather’s and grandmother’s marriage, around 1910, MaMaw (my grandmother) converted from her native Catholicism (she was Spanish) to evangelical Christianity. She was excited with her newfound expression of faith to the point that her family was greatly upset by her decision. In fact, they were certain she had lost her mind! So her brothers showed up at hers and my grandfather’s front door to take Aurelia (what a beautiful Spanish name!) away to the insane asylym. But my grandfather, protector of his beloved, met his determined in-laws on the front steps with a shotgun to defend his wife and her faith, to turn them away from their intent.

Evidently, his defense worked, for the rest of MaMaw’s story shows a life-long commitment to that faith she had committed to as an 18 year old newly-wed. My own legacy of faith is traced to that conviction, once courageously tested at the end of a 30 inch shotgun barrel.

Is that the same gun that Mama handed to me and I just handed down to my son? It’s old enough to be. It well could be the same gun. But even if it were another gun, I get the point. My grandfather, a principled man, took a courageous stand for his wife!

I recently passed PaPaw’s gun down to my son. We tested it in the field a few weeks ago, and it’s an elegant relic that still shoots true. May that antique serve to remind the next generation never to take faith lightly.

Waste not the unclouded day! Wednesday, Jan 15 2014 

Yesterday was as unclouded as a cloudless day can be in January. 66 perfect degrees, light breeze.

Yesterday's sky blue canopy overhead.

Yesterday’s sky blue canopy overhead.

What corrupt institution decrees that men and women should be tethered to desks and desktop monitors inside while outside the sky’s so blue? The waste of such a day is surely sin!

Rather than office work, we should be outside spinning sonnets and whimsical lyrics.

The joys of homeownership: Central Air Conditioning Monday, Jan 13 2014 

You can book it. If you own a home, every 15-20 years you will replace a roof and you will replace a central air unit. We did the roof 5 or 6 years ago. Now it’s the 17 year old AC’s turn.

After 17 years, the old unit cashed it in.  And now, so will I to replace her!

After 17 years, the old unit cashed it in. And now, so will I to replace her!

THe issue started Sunday morning. The air handling unit inside wouldn’t run, the compressor unit outside wouldn’t quit running. I shut both of them down till the repairman could arrive. And so he did, this afternoon. Guess what?

The inside air handling unit kicked right on. The compressor unit outside wouldn’t run.

The verdict? AC Guilty. But no sin for which a brand new unit wouldn’t absolve. Such are the +$4000 every 15-20 years joys of homeownership.

Silver lining: Gratefully, the AC gave up in January rather than July.

More than phone numbers: Chapters of our lives Tuesday, Jan 7 2014 

979W3. The party line at New Zion, my first phone number ever from the late 1950’s. I still remember it!

Why do we remember those numbers far beyond their times?

Fast forward to the present.

(337) 457-8506. To aulde lang syne.

No use for land line phones and answering machines.

No use for land line phones and answering machines.

A phone book listing, a 30+ year old numerical artifact no longer in service as of this day: the infamous number that elementary school teachers dialed when Zach talked too much in school, the number that lonesome Papa called from drilling rigs on the briny Gulf to chat with Mom during 7 day offshore hitches in the 80’s, the number that Ann’s teachers never called because Ann was such an angel in school … Yes, a fabled set of numerals from family lore. But no tears shed we, embracers of technology! What need we with land lines? Forge we onward and upward in the digital age!