Before Kathy and I exchanged vows, we attended one of those pre-marriage counseling classes.
“If your fiancé was an animal, what kind of animal would he be?” Kathy was asked at the class.
That was long before Barbara Walters asked Katharine Hepburn, “What kind of a tree are you?”
“Mule!” Kathy responded without hesitation.
I recalled Bing Crosby’s “Swinging On a Star” in one of his early movies.
A mule is an animal with long, funny ears.
He kicks up at anything he hears.
His back is brawny and his brain is weak.
He’s just plain stupid with a stubborn streak.
My hair covered my ears in those days so Kathy was not referring to my floppy ears.
There may be some truth to being jumpy, brawny and having a weak brain.
I think what she was actually referring to was my “stubborn streak.”
It must be the rural upbringing that causes our stubbornness.
Try telling a farmer how to raise his cattle or a greyhound trainer how to train his dogs.
Who’s with me on this? The first thing to do when the siren goes off is to run outside to see it.
We have seen several over the years, living south of Abilene. One day we saw three in one evening.
We got a good look at the tornado that hit Salina, skipped over our house, landed on Enterprise, hit Chapman and landed on K-State in 2008.
We almost drove into the tornado that ripped through 26 miles of northern Dickinson County in 2015. I have pictures.
I’m not wearing one.
And that was after the fact that had I been wearing a seatbelt back in high school, I wouldn’t have had to shuffle my way to the medicine cabinet while moaning and groaning this morning.
Then there’s that “You are not going to tell me what to do” attitude.
“I think I can hit this 8-iron over those trees,” I tell a golfing partner.
“That’s about a 200 yard carry. I’d lay up.”
Did Tin Cup lay up? No, he scored a 12!
Naturally, my Titleist ended up under those trees I had planned to hit the ball over.
I went to the doctor’s office last January with a bit of a cough.
“Here, put this on,” I was told, being handed a mask.
I felt like a leper.
I wasn’t coughing, sneezing or otherwise spreading germs.
As I get older, I still look for tornados. Still go for that impossible shot on the gold course. Still am stubborn as a mule.
However, I now wear a seat belt. Always!
I listen and follow, usually, my wife’s advice.
The Abilene City Commission will be voting on its mask policy later today. If approved, the wearing of masks will be required in public places where distancing of 6 feet at all times is not possible.
It doesn’t matter the outcome of the vote today, if you see me in a store, I’ll be wearing a mask.