Early mornings have been cold and crisp lately along Wildcat Boulevard. Eight degrees was the coldest I read on a bank thermometer. I had trouble with my cheekbones getting cold on those frigid days, but think I have that problem conquered now.
I did walk the morning we got snow. For some reason, crows and squirrels were all I saw on my morning trek. In many places mine were the first footprints in the blanket of fresh white snow.
My North Dakota brother, who walks each morning in below zero weather, sent me some farm-related materials lately. They all involved water. If we don't get some heavy rains here to fill the ponds, lakes, rivers, and springs soon, we are going to have even greater drought problems. Come on rain! A couple feet of snow could even help with our moisture deficiency.
I was thinking about stress the other morning as I walked along. It seems to be a problem with many people. I recently read that college students in a Swedish university have an unusual way to relieve their stress.
At 10 p.m. each evening they open their dorm windows and scream out the window for two minutes. Wouldn't that scare you if you were walking by?
I don't have much stress since I retired from the classroom. I have not tried opening the window and screaming. Doing so would give the neighbors something to talk about, though.
After my stress thinking, my mind wandered to some country song lyrics I heard the morning before when I was shaving: "I thought I was king on the mountain, but I was only a fool on a hill." Quite an ego destroying thought. Now that's country.
Guns and changing gun laws have certainly been in the news lately. What will filter out I do not know. I would feel bad though if only the "bad" guys and government agents were allowed to have guns.
When I was a youngster on the farm, I carried a gun most of the time I was home. I also carried a large hunting knife on my belt. Things change. These practices would be frowned on by quite a few people today.
When I began at Neosho High School, many pickups in the student parking lot had weapons in the rifle racks in the back window. That could not happen today.
You even have to fill out paperwork to buy a .22 nowadays, but at least you can buy one. I recently read that American citizens own around 300 million guns—about one gun per person of our population.
Take a walk, pray for rain, use those signal lights, do something to relieve your stress, and see what you would think about when walking along Wildcat Boulevard.
Page 2 of 2 - Russell Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.