PAINT LICK —
If you had your life to live over, what would you do differently?
Frankly, with one exception, the few things that I would change are too personal to talk about in a public forum, and they’re really nobody else’s business, anyway.
And if I went back and made major changes, say in the type of education or where I attended college, for example, they might have resulted in an entirely different life than the one I’ve lived.
The bottom line is that I’m pretty happy with the way things have turned out. I love my family and my circle of friends and I love living in Paint Lick, Kentucky. I love what I do, and I’m fairly content with what I’ve accomplished over the last 64 years.
I’m proud of my kids and grandkids, and I can’t imagine having a life-sharing partner more wonderful than Loretta. I would not go back and make a single change that would ultimately make the family and friends aspects of my life turn out differently.
But, by far, the biggest regret that I’m willing to talk about is smoking. I wish, with all my heart, that I’d never seen or touched a cigarette or briar pipe. I would be lying big time if I told you that I have not taken great pleasure from smoking, especially my pipes, over the decades.
Although I haven’t smoked a pipe in nearly three years, I still consider myself a connoisseur of blended pipe tobacco from around the world. Few things, made of wood, have more appeal to my eyes and hands than a hand carved and perfectly engineered Mediterranean Briar pipe. Nothing smells better to me than the aroma of fine pipe tobacco.
But if I had it to do over, I would have never touched a pipe and never lit that first cigarette. I’m reasonably convinced that I would not have suffered the stroke that has left me somewhat crippled for nearly a year now. I’m sure that I would have far more stamina and that I would feel better.
I don’t even want to think about all the money I would have if I had stuck it into sa avings account instead of blowing it on tobacco and it’s related products over the years.
People who do not have ultra-addictive personalities do not understand those of us who do. I know at least a hundred people who have quit smoking over the years and some of them had mighty struggles with the process. Many, if not most, of them are of the opinion that if they can do it, anyone can.
But even after my stroke, I cheated and on those days when I didn’t smoke, I wanted a cigarette so badly that I could hardly think of anything else.
Over the last 25 years, I have tried numerous patches, pills and gum. I’ve completed two of those highly-touted 16 week cessation programs. I’ve tried hypnosis several times, and I’ve fallen for several television and internet promoted scams. I’ve had a stroke, for crying out loud, and I still wanted a damn cigarette.
Last fall, someone suggested I try an e.cigarette. It’s a battery operated device that delivers a vapor instead of smoke. It feels and tastes a lot like a regular cigarette but without all the smoke and tars and thousands of chemical impurities you get from real smoke. In other words, it’s a much cleaner and less aggravating way of getting a nicotine fix than real tobacco. And unless somebody is sitting right beside you, they never smell a thing.
This writing makes 90 days since I’ve touched a match or lighter to a cigarette. I promise you faithfully that I haven’t even wanted one, but I have panicked a time or two when I couldn’t find my White Cloud Fling.
I have no idea if it’s safer, because I’m still getting nicotine. But I can tell you that I feel and breathe better than I have in decades, and I can’t imagine going back to real smoke.
I tried 11 different brands and styles before settling on White Cloud disposables, which I find to be the most reliable, realistic and economical e.cigarettes on the market and, by far, the most truthfully advertised. Simply do an internet search for whitecloudfling.com
However, if you’ve quit smoking, DO NOT DO THIS or use it as an excuse to start back. If you’ve never smoked a cigarette, THIS IS NOT A HEALTHY ALTERNATIVE.
Read everything you can find on the pros and cons of electronic cigarettes before you even try one and then make up your mind. There’s a ton of mostly conflicting information on the internet and even health professionals hold widely varying opinions.
It may turn out that I’m still killing myself just as rapidly as I would be with the real thing or maybe even faster. But at least Loretta is not yelling at me for stinking up the atmosphere.
PAINT LICK —
If you had your life to live over, what would you do differently?
Starting over at Head Start
All I ever wanted to be was a journalist. Having worked on my high school and college newspapers, I knew it was the career for me.
I love talking to people, listening to their stories, being creative every day and experiencing new things. But as you know, news happens outside the hours of 9 to 5, and my job here at the Register rarely stayed within that time frame.
They don’t make strawberries as they did back in the old days
I’m not inclined to go through my archives at the moment, but it almost feels like the column I’m about to write has almost become an annual thing over the years.
At least I know for sure that that this is not the first time that memories of picking strawberries there on Blair Branch on hot days in June has triggered this keyboard about this time of year.
I grew up on a little subsistence, hillside farm deep in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, among the coalfields near the Virginia line.
Baby boomers have let technology rob their grandchildren of the joys of youth
When I was growing up, it was not uncommon to see fathers and sons along creek banks fishing together or in the woods hunting squirrels or pitching horse shoes or even shooting marbles late in the afternoon in the cool hours before dark.
Dads were teaching kids to play the games they grew up with. Little girls, learned from mothers,how to skip rope, play with jacks or play hopscotch.
No Lincoln or Douglas in this debate
Remember the famous slap-down in the 1988 vice presidential debate when Republican Dan Quayle compared his youth and limited government experience to those of John Kennedy’s when Kennedy ran for president?
His Democratic opponent, Texas Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, acidly replied: “I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”
Senate campaign already in full bloom
Any hope for a respite in the U.S. Senate campaign following Tuesday’s primary disappeared immediately.
Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes came out swinging in victory speeches which sounded like campaign kickoffs.
McConnell commended Matt Bevin on “a tough (primary) race” and appealed to Bevin supporters to unite behind his re-election bid. That will be hard for Bevin and those who backed him.
‘Taxpayer-eaters’ meet ‘self-serving politician-eaters’
What some candidates could gain in this year’s election – beyond just winning office – is a stark reminder of how wrong political leaders were when declaring last year they had adequately addressed Kentucky’s public-pension crisis.
Instead, legislators with serious courage deficiencies failed to agree on reforms beyond what they believe are “politically feasible.”
Step Out, Step up for Diabetes Association
Six weeks ago when I wrote here announcing the 2014 Edition of Team TKO’s American Diabetes Association, Step Out Walk Team, several dozen of you readers sent generous donations to sponsor grandson Tyler Kane Ochs (TKO) and me in the walk that takes place, rain or shine, in the mud or not, at Keeneland on the morning of May 31.
Another several dozen of you either called, emailed or dropped a card in regular mail and asked that I remind you again “after the holidays” (Easter and Mother’s Day).
Hitting the campaign trail
The most watched race in the country ? the battle for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Mitch McConnell ? has so far produced a bevy of charges and not much substance.
We haven’t seen that much of McConnell or his likely Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes out on the campaign trail.
McConnell’s primary opponent Matt Bevin has been much more active and visible, but his performance hasn’t enhanced his chances.
The case of the scary black cat
If Margie didn’t believe that black cats were the harbinger of bad luck, she certainly believed it when a black cat brushed against her leg while she was leaning over a large trash can burning garbage one late afternoon.
Startled by the sudden appearance of the feline, Margie opened her mouth wide and let out a blood-curdling scream that could have awakened Count Dracula himself.
Basking in the spring sunshine
If you had asked me, as recently as two weeks ago, to make a list of things I expected to see on the first Monday in May of 2014, two of the things that I actually did see would not have been on the list, even if you’d required that it contain at least 500 items.
I’d have been a bit skeptical about Ralph’s purple asparagus and his gorgeous snowball bush, both of which came through most admirably. And I would have had my doubts about the poppies that have been in our back yard for several generations and the bearded German Iris that Jeanette Todd gave us more than two decades ago. It faithfully stuns us there at the corner of the front porch every spring, but there they were, basking in absolute glory as the sun set Monday afternoon.
- More Viewpoints Headlines
- Starting over at Head Start