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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Song of the South

I've been away less than a week and already there are so many people and places to thank for making this trip to the Southland a memorable one.

To Dunkin'Donuts,
One of the reasons I like to will go through O'Hare on my travels is that you have a presence there. It gives me a chance at a large coffee and an old fashioned doughnut. Now the doughnuts are OK there, but there is just a little too much "old" in them. How do I know? Well, there is also a Dunkin'Donuts here in Morrow, GA. And their doughnuts are, well, better. A lot better. Perhaps it is because at O'Hare, the products have to go through a full body scan first? If it isn’t that, but a pat-down instead, just don’t tell me.

To the NMC*,
That was a great event you put on in Lexington. OK, so it took me three days to figure out the layout, what with the booths scattered all over and on several levels. But I eventually found everything I was looking for. The services were uplifting and challenging. As usual, the best part was the call for those who had made the decision to GO to COME and start their missions work right there. See you in Atlanta in 2011!

*National Missionary Convention

To delegates at the NMC,
The convention is a great place to meet friends, I know. But standing around in groups of ten or twelve right at the bottom of the escalator is so not a good idea. They even had to put up a sign. Really?

To Abraham Lincoln,
I must say you gave me quite a start, appearing as you did at the convention. Now at first I thought maybe I'd missed the rapture but, aside from you, everything in the exhibit hall seemed pretty much normal. Now that the shock of encountering such a well known and, until now, presumed long dead, personage, I have to offer you a suggestion. It's true, you are respected for being honest, but perhaps you should venture, ever-so-slightly, into the realm of tact. You know, like that time Mrs. Lincoln asked "Does this dress make my backside look big?" Now don't deny it, because we have the technology - here, have a look yourself. Now, repeat after me, "Why not at all, dear. You look just lovely in it."

To Lexington,
Seems you really dressed up for the Equestrian World Games this year. I'm guessing your city looks mighty fine all of the time, but I did notice the newer, large, colorful displays at the airport when I arrived. One in particular stood out, a photo of a magnificent horse in a green pasture. On the right were the words:

Honor the Land
Revere the Horse

Now I couldn't help but notice that there was no reference to PEOPLE so I question, where do we stand on your list? Third, just behind the horse, or perhaps a bit farther down? Just wondering.

To AmericanAirlines,
On all 12 legs of the last three trips I have taken, we have arrived early. It is making me a little nervous. Are you holding back for a really BIG surprise? If I had one complaint, it would be that we apparently surprised the ground crew in Atlanta and had to wait for them to punch in, finish their warm-up exercises and whatever else they do to get started for the day. But, since we still arrived at the gate ahead of schedule, I guess I'll just have to say, "Well done." And, "Keep it up." I have one more trip scheduled for this year yet.

To Atlanta,
This is WINTER? Man, you've got the right idea. I've always thought that the degree to which one enjoys a vacation is in direct proportion to the difference in the weather between where you are and where you came from. I am SO enjoying this week.*

* 17 degrees, with the wind chill bringing it down to 4 in La Crosse; 74 degrees here. What do I have to say about this. See my note to American Airlines above.

To the Georgia HIghway Department,
Thanks for the warning at the bridges. You know, the ones that read:
  Caution. Bridge may freeze in winter.
In Wisconsin we have signs at the bridges, too. But ours read:
  Hang in there. Bridge may thaw in summer.
It's an upper-midwest thing. You should come visit us sometime and experience it for yourself.

To the Morrow Police and Fire Departments,
Hang in there, we will be leaving soon. And thank you for your service and assistance. We did not know about the new security system installed at the house. Really. And locking the keys, and an infant, in the car. Could happen to anybody, right? Anyway, you are on the ball and we do rest easier knowing that there are professionals out there, ready to serve when called.

To all the Southern Cooks,
Your work is special, for sure. Just the other night we ate at a buffet style restaurant where the selection included fried okra, baby lima beans, black-eyed peas, chicken liver, "poultry" gravy, catfish, hushpuppies, fried chicken and collard greens, just to name a few. It struck me that the spread exemplified Southern cooking at its most basic level: If it walks, flies or swims, fry it; if it grows, boil it; serve with corn bread and sweet tea, eat, nap, repeat.

I shared these thoughts in another venue and got this relatively pertinent comment, "If you're very quiet now, you can listen to your own arteries hardening!!" Ahh... Southern cooking.

To the Buffet Restaurant,
I noticed that a few - a very few - of your offerings were labeled as "Healthy Choices." In other words, pretty much out of place. One of these was, to my surprise and delight, the chocolate pudding. Even though I suspected chocolate pudding might be a healthy choice only on comparison to the other cholesterol delivery options, I welcomed the chance to try it. And, now how can I put this? That was chocolate pudding in the same way that Velveeta is fine cheese. Sorry, but that's the way I saw it.

To the Couple at the ATL Admirals Club,
We don't want to know. We REALLY don't want to know.

To my Legion of One or Two Readers,
We are looking forward to our 40th family Thanksgiving dinner here in Morrow, GA. Wherever you are this week, may God bless you as you are reminded of how very much there is to be thankful for.