The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC


July 9, 2012

Heat offers opportunities

TARBORO — I’m thankful I don’t have t toil outside for a living, as do many people.

I’ve always been one to take care of my own yard, yet Saturday, we paid Tom Williams to cut the grass.

Part of that decision stemmed from having the lawn mower here and my little red gas can in the garage in Bogalusa, La., but the main consideration was the heat.

I don’t tolerate it as I once did, and I blame the toll mixture of radiation and chemotherapy (Cisplatin and 5-FU) took on my body more than I do my age.

While my right hand is normally wrapped around a Dr Pepper, these days you are more likely to see me with a Gatorade fierce grape in its place.

This is a tough time of year on many people — especially the elderly and ill and those with limited resources who don’t have access to air conditioning.

While there are beneficial programs offering free fans, the reality is that the fan is simply circulating 100-degree (or better) heat inside some of the houses in our community which puts the occupants in a role akin to that of a rotisserie chicken.

I remember growing up in the country with a fan in the bedroom window to try and offer you just enough relief to fall asleep at night.

The old house in which we lived was poorly insulated and cold in the winter, until Mom folded newspapers and packed them around the windows and two of the doors we didn’t use once warm weather left us.

 Perhaps our oppressive heat is a lesson being offered us by the Lord.

Here I am, complaining about the heat when I work in a building that is mostly air conditioned and live in a home that will chill you out when the thermostat is on 74.

I don’t have to worry about trying to stay cool enough to breathe.

When I get in my Jeep, I roll down the windows until the A/C pushes the hot air away ... yet I never thought about Tom Williams, riding from house to house to cut grass in his pickup with no air.

Other than a catch-my-breath moment when I get in my vehicle, I don’t have to worry about staying cool while driving.

We advise you to watch out for your neighbors in this heat, but do we?

How many of us take the time to meet our neighbors ... more than to say hello and recognize them?

How many of us know our neighbors well enough to know when they are too proud to ask for help?

When’s the last time you made a pitcher of ice water and took it to your neighbor?

Or what about the folks on the utility and garbage trucks? What about the folks doing road work?

When was the last time you performed a random act of kindness?

A person’s commitment to doing unto others as they would want for themselves is a lot like being able to judge the ethics and morality of a person ... you can tell their level of ethics by what they do when no one is looking.

A random act of kindness can be judged in a similar manner ... by doing the right thing for the right reason and not caring that anyone knows you did it.

It’s like paying for a service member’s meal in an airport ... do it because it makes you feel better ... and at least you know you are doing something worthwhile with your money and not spending it frivolously.

Yes, the heat offers us the opportunity to whine and complain and throw ourselves a pity party. It also offers us the opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s life — even if it’s just for the moment they pause to drink that water you gave them.

(John H. Walker is editor/publisher of The Daily Southerner and can be reached at 823-3106.)

Text Only
  • Spring and snow just don’t go together

    A check of the calendar tells us that spring arrived last Thursday while my memory reminds me we saw snow flakes flying by in that March wind throughout much of the day.
    With Easter this coming Sunday, I’m reminded of a wet Good Friday snow in West Texas that brought anywhere from six inches in Big Spring to 18 inches in Sweetwater on April 5, 1996.
    The wind that day was straight off the Polar ice cap and the snow was horizontal much of the time. In fact,the wind compacted the snow so much that it was more that six inches thick on the sides of utility poles in front of the Big Spring Herald.
    On Saturday, it was almost completely gone.
    Mom and Dad always warned of an Easter freeze and the weather this year seems conducive to such a phenomena of Mother Nature.

    March 25, 2013

  • Why is there no answer to the question ‘why?’

    Stephanie and I have two grandsons, 7-year-old Alex and 5-year-old Dominick, and every word we’ve heard come out of the mouths of those young survivors at Sandy Hook Elementary School has hit us like a sledgehammer.

    December 17, 2012

  • On dealing with humanity

    I’m probably not much different from any other grandparent.
    As we heard the story Monday morning about the 2-year-old who was treated just about every way but humanely last weekend, we started trying to track the story down.

    November 12, 2012

  • Remember all history, good and bad

    As we maneuver the ins and outs of life, we develop connectors to link with the timeline of events stored in the recesses of our brain.
    On Saturday, Sept. 29, Mom, Daddy and I were in Mississippi Memorial Stadium looking on as Coach Johnny Vaught’s Ole Miss Rebels beat the Kentucky, 16-0.

    October 3, 2012

  • Sharing random thoughts

    Now that the Olympics are over, what did you think about some of the events?
    Come on. How can baseball no longer be an Olympic sport but advanced gymnastic ribbon twirling can get you a gold medal?
    Who won the ribbon twirling, anyway?
    But talking about the Olympics, how about those two women’s relay teams —he 4x100 and 4x400? What a show they put on!

    August 20, 2012

  • Football Fridays not just about game on field

    This is the week when it’s time for local schools to be ready, as Friday night signals the start of the 2013 high school football season.
    But it’s not just about the game.

    August 13, 2012

  • News with color not part of paper’s DNA

    Once upon a time, I had a publisher whose seem to think that a day in which at least one hour wasn’t wasted in meetings was, well, a waste.
    I don’t like meetings ... especially those that drone on and on and on when one of the participants wastes everyone else’s time asking questions after the fact when it would have been easier for them to have done their homework.

    August 13, 2012

  • Olympics: It’s hard to not be jingoistic

    Sitting in from of the television, it’s hard not to be jingoistic when you see some young American on the top step of the Olympics award stand, gold medal around their neck and hand over their heart as they sing the Star Spangled Banner.

    August 6, 2012

  • Princeville administration claims conspiracy against its efforts

    To the Editor:
    These are the people who are against our Administration and their negative efforts affect everybody in Princeville since the beginning of this Administration in 2010:
    • Former Mayor Delia Perkins
    • Commissioner Ann Howell
    • Commissioner Gwendolyn Knight
    • Former Commissioner Ann Carney Adams
    • Former Commissioner Carolyn Sharpe
    • Newspaper Reporter, Calvin Adkins
    • County Commissioner Viola Harris

    July 13, 2012

  • Heat offers opportunities

    I’m thankful I don’t have t toil outside for a living, as do many people.
    I’ve always been one to take care of my own yard, yet Saturday, we paid Tom Williams to cut the grass.

    July 9, 2012

Your Comments
AP Video
U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Twitter Updates