Well, here I sit and the winter has already been far too long!

I asked this question before and I repeat it now out of pure disdain: What is the use of living in the deep South if we have to endure winters like this? I always thought there was some kind of magical force field that protected the deep South from this kinda nonsense. Yes, I know, the bay froze once a long time ago, and there was that nine-degree day in the 1990s that killed my crepe myrtle, but those are the exceptions.

People therefore ask me, “What, you wanna live in the mountains and you don’t like the cold here?” Yes, that’s true, it’s colder in the southern Appalachians, but you know what? I can at least look out my window and see snow-blanketed peaks rather than brown mud-covered roads and road shoulders.

And I don’t intend to live anywhere near Billings, Montana, where it hit -17 degrees last week! No, much as I love the Rockies, that kind of cold is for the bears who have the good sense to find a hole in the ground to sleep until spring. My northernmost line of possible . . . → Read More: Brrr!

Remember My Father

I abuse the privilege of this space and my position to once again ask this favor of you.

It is 14 years ago this week that my father left this world to journey into the next. Many fathers have made that journey, and I don’t pretend my own dad was more important than any other. But he was my dad, and just once each year, I ask your tolerance and your favor.

I ask it, because my father was a champion of his people. A warrior of a different sort. Had his life not been so filled with toxins, it would not be unreasonable for him to still be here today. The things he inhaled in his job, his sideline work, his smoking habit, all weakened his heart and his lungs but in the end, could not curb the valiance of his spirit.

He was not alone in his duties as a warrior. Forty-six years ago, five men united to create a constitution and by-laws for the tribe, securing the final bureaucracy of becoming a sovereign nation. They are all heroes.

In the years that followed, my father took on the call of the sacred flame. It is believed . . . → Read More: Remember My Father