Stop counting days, just cherish every one

Arnold Dyre

Commentary By Arnold Dyre

   The muscadines have come and gone.
   The drought has been severe this year, taking its toll on persimmons and the mast crop. I will miss out on watching the deer come to our persimmon tree this year, and the squirrels, deer and other critters depending on acorns and nuts to survive the winter will have slimmer pickings.
   It will probably take a hurricane to shake summer loose from its hot grip and bring a real honest-to-goodness drenching rain and cooler temperatures. But the mornings have been nice of late and, for me and my old friend Clovis, all days are precious.
   I count it as a major miracle that, at 97, Clovis has reached another football season, and that Ole Miss has won three games for him. Clovis’ memory is slipping, and he now enjoys the televised replays as much as he does the original games. Lately, most days, Clovis wakes up wondering if Ole Miss plays that day.
   Whether game day or not, each day is a bonus.
   I remember as a boy counting days until school ended, until the start of hunting season, and until the arrival of Christmas.
   In the Navy, we were always counting days for one reason or another. Looking forward to the end of Boot Camp, longing for a time back in port, getting “short” near the end of enlistment.
   Later, involved in the hectic day-to-day work of making a living as a lawyer, there seemed to never be enough days to get it all done, and they passed too quickly with deadlines looming and arriving before I had time to be ready for them.
   Then, a while back, I endured and survived a major health crisis when each day became critical. I have quit counting days, I just enjoy each one!
   Time marches right along no matter what is going on around it. A new day replaces the one just spent.
   Yet, I recall a couple of instances when I caught up with time. Coming back from Far East deployments aboard the destroyer USS Ernest G. Small, I have crossed the International Date Line twice. Back in my days aboard a ship at sea unless then engaged in critical operations, Sundays, as well as a few other special days, were observed via what we called a holiday routine.
   Coming back from Vietnam after our final combat deployment, we crossed the date line near midnight on a Sunday and suddenly had a whole new Sunday holiday routine.
   Well, it did not come off as feeling new. We had fried chicken two days in a row, and they even showed the same movie again. Of course, going over we had skipped a day. One of our guys missed his birthday!

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