Appreciating the rain and the shine

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I vaguely remember going to one particular Christmas parade in downtown Opelika in the early to mid-eighties. I’m sure it was a very festive occasion, but all I remember about it were Santa Claus, leg warmers, and eighty degree weather. It was hot—at the Christmas parade. Bah humbug!
I love Opelika, but there are times I wished I lived in a place with four distinct seasons. I mentioned that to a group of buddies the other night at Niffer’s on the Tracks, and I thought they were going to run me out of town or at least out of the bar. I do love Opelika, but I like cold weather, too—at least when it’s hot. When it’s hot, I like cold weather. As a human being, it’s hard being content.
It was really warm through the first week of November. I heard many people complaining about the unseasonably warm weather, while wishing for cooler temperatures.
Then, a funny thing happened; we had a cool day, and many of those same people were longing for the aforementioned unseasonably warm weather. As a human being, satisfaction is temporary.
It’s been raining for days on end. I’m not exactly sure how long that is, but it’s been a while. I’m sure we needed it. Well, I really don’t know if we do or not. That’s just the old person in me. It can rain 40 days and 40 nights, and some will be ecstatic while others are upset, sad, depressed, or all of the above.
My dog Ruby may be all of the above. She loves to play outside, and I love playing with her. It’s great being outside with her throwing the tennis ball across the yard. It really is great—for the first forty-five minutes or so. It’s the next two hours that I have a problem with, so the rain has given me a welcomed break. Actually, it’s not the rain as much as it’s been the mud, and I don’t want the mud on my carpet.
The grass in my back yard is struggling and is akin to a middle-aged man losing his hair, but a comb-over of the grass just won’t do the trick.
In fact, a comb-over never does the trick, so stop that—stop that now. It’s like the man leaving the liquor store drinking from a brown paper sack. We know it’s not a Co-cola in that sack, so cut it out.
Ruby doesn’t seem to mind the weather. Hot or cold, rain or shine, she is content and satisfied. Sometimes I wish I was a dog. She’s just happy to be alive. It’s been a little over two years since I almost lost her to Parvo. She pulled through and has since proven to be the most amazing dog I’ve ever seen, even when she was “sick as a dog.”
I don’t ever like being that sick, whatever that means, but I don’t mind feeling less than stellar on occasion, because it makes me appreciate the days I feel like a champ all the more. We can’t appreciate the shine without the rain, and we can’t appreciate the comfortable weather without the miserable weather, and most of all, we can’t appreciate a nice head of hair without a bad comb-over.
Jody Fuller is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at jody@jodyfuller.com. For more information, please visit www.jodyfuller.com.

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