Banks County Opinions...

September 12, 2001


Column
By Angela Gary
The Banks County News
September 12, 2001

Pets bring smiles and laughter
She suddenly takes off in hot pursuit of a small yellow butterfly. She jumps and twists in the air in her quest to get the small colorful thing flying by her.
The butterfly escapes and something else quickly catches her attention. A flock of ducks at the edge of the lake cause her to leap into the water. She swims around in circles as the ducks make a quick escape.
She comes out of the lake in a hurry and heads back to where I'm walking. She shakes off the water as she speeds up to catch up with me.
She runs far ahead of me but continues to constantly twist her head around to make sure I'm still behind her. She occasionally races into the woods to check out some noise that only she can hear, but she soon joins me back on the path around the lake.
My walks with our dog Dixie always bring many smiles to my face and at least one laugh-out-loud moment. I always return to the house sharing stories of her adventures with my family.
It makes the walk go by much faster to have Dixie along to make me laugh. It doesn't even seem like exercise. I actually look forward to our walks and Dixie sure does seem to enjoy them.
I have had to miss several of our nightly walks recently due to night meetings (at least three a week) and always look forward to when I can get out with her.
I had missed several nights in a row due to work when I headed out recently for a walk. Dixie was so excited to see me head toward the field instead of back to my car to return to work that she was leaping in the air. I bent down to hug her and she gave me a quick kiss (on the mouth) before I could stop her.
I have always loved pets and they continue to amaze and amuse me. Over the years, Missy, Pooh and many others have caused me many laughs (and some tears). Dixie is the latest in a long line of pets at the Gary household. We have never gone long without having at least one cat and dog on the premises.
In addition to Dixie, we now have four cats. Quincy is the only one who lives in the house with us. The other three, Tommie Jean, Autumn and Socks, live at the shop behind our house. My nightly walk usually includes a stop at the shop to visit with the cats out there. Dixie doesn't like me to give them any attention at all and jumps and dances around me as I try to pet and talk to them. Our time together is limited and she wants all of my attention.
Due to the increasing demands of work, I am spending less and less time taking walks with Dixie, but I treasure the times I do have to take a walk and enjoy the nature around me even more.
Angela Gary is associate editor of The Jackson Herald and editor of The Banks County News. She can be reached at AngieEditor@aol.com.

Column
By Shar Porier
The Banks County News
September 12, 2001

A writer afraid to write?
There it sits. My Christmas present from my nephews. I feel bad I haven't done anything with it yet. They were so happy when they gave it to me. "We picked it out just for you, Aunt Shar." And it was a great gift. A journal.
I've always wanted a journal. Thought it would be nice to keep track of day-to-day happenings and thoughts. Trouble is, though, when you write something in it, it's there forever unless you white-out the page or rip it out.
I had learned a lesson long ago about journals and diaries. Somebody gave me a diary when I was in high school. It was an "in-thing" back then. All the girls had one. It was so nice, leather bound. Good lock on it. I wrote in that thing almost every night for nearly a year. I kept the key hidden so my two older brothers wouldn't be able to read any of my private thoughts. (You know older brothers!)
I put all sorts of things in it - my latest crush, observations on classmates and teachers, personal anxieties and fears ...and dreams, those special dreams of youth. I was content believing all my secrets were secure.
HA! One day after school, my brothers had these looks on their faces. I knew they had been up to something and it wasn't going to be fun for me. The next thing I know, they're reciting my love poem to my "secret love" who happened to be one of my brother's best friends. E-e-e-ek!!!
I was s-o-o-o embarrassed. Then I got angry. Ranted about the lack of privacy. All the while, they're laughing hysterically as they taunted me.
I still blush at the memory of that day when highly classified information made it into the hands of those who could "destroy" me. What if they told HIM about it? It was awful. Getting up each day and knowing I was going to have to face this friend not knowing whether or not they'd passed the secret on to him. I remember wishing I had been an only child!
My eyes glance back to the journal lying on my desk. Well, I don't have to worry about my brothers now. I pick it up and flip through the clean, white pages. I imagine the pages filled with bits and pieces of my day-to-day life. Pages that, one day, my nephews could read and learn a little more about their aunt. I'd like for them to know me better. Know who I really am instead of that guarded person that has to be so careful in what she says to young people.
I pick up a pen and begin, "Hello, Matt and Michael!"
Shar Porier is a reporter for The Banks County News. She can be emailed at sunbeltshooters@aol.com.


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