More Jackson County Opinions...

JANUARY 22, 2003


Column
By:Virgil Adams
The Jackson Herald
January 22, 2003

Why I keep a journal
“Read my stuff when you don’t have anything else to do.” I tell people that all the time. I am telling you this morning. “Read my stuff when you don’t have anything else to do.”
Now, for the two or three of you who don’t have anything else to do, let us proceed. Bear with me.
I am trying to figure out if I keep a diary or a journal. A hundred years from now, in the scheme of things, it’s really not important to me, which it is. I am positive that it is not important to you.
But I looked up “diary” and “journal” anyway.
Diary: “a record of events, transactions, or observations kept daily or at frequent intervals.”
Journal: “a record of experiences, ideas, or reflections kept regularly for private use.”
I’m still not sure what I do, but I’m leaning toward journalizing.
My Mama — now there was a keeper of diaries. She died in 1988, at the age of 97, and I don’t remember when she didn’t do her diary daily.
She recorded everything: what she did, who she visited, who visited her, everybody’s health, deaths, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, the day’s weather.
On Sundays she recorded the preacher’s text and sermon title.
If my brother and I want to know how many fish we caught on May 16, 1939, all we have to do is dig out Mama’s 1939 diary and turn to May 16.
Like I said, I’m more of a journal keeper. But I have a little trouble with the definition, as it applies to me personally.
First, there is nothing regular about the way I do it. I may jot down something four or five days in a row, then go four or five months and not jot anything down.
Second, my journals are short on experiences and long on ideas and reflections. I am not as interested in the experiences as I am in what the experiences mean. I do a lot of reflecting. If you want to call it daydreaming, that’s all right with me.
Third, my reflections and ideas are not for my private use. Far from it. I want to share them with the world.
After all, my ideas are so wonderful, so great, and so awesome that. . . .
OK, so you are going to continue reading this stuff when you don’t have anything else to do.
Oh, one of you is still with me?
All right, let me tell you why I keep a journal. I have boxes full of them, little 3X5 inch notebooks full of stuff.
I jot things down compulsively. I jot them down wherever and whenever they pop up. I wake up in the middle of the night and jot something down on the pad on the bedside table.
As I commit a reflection or an idea to paper, I’m thinking, “Now this is something I’ll put in a column someday. . . or in the book I’ve been working on for 50 years.” That is why I do it.
Now you know.
Now, allow me to demonstrate the usefulness — or the foolishness — of my compulsive note taking.
I am going to walk to the closet where I keep boxes and boxes of the little notebooks. I am going to close my eyes, reach in one of the boxes, pull out one of the little notebooks at random, and see what wisdom is contained therein.
I hope it is something that won’t get me in any trouble, or turn you off to my stuff, even when you don’t have anything else to do.
I lift the cover and begin to read. So help me, this is what I pulled out of the box.
“When there’s nothing to write about, nothing to do, no place to turn; what you do is. . . .
(Time out! Please understand that the “you” in all of this is not you. I am not so much writing to you as I am writing to me. I need my advice a whole heck of a lot more than you do. Understand? Now, let us start over.)
“When there’s nothing to write about, nothing to do, no place to turn; what you do is, you do the best you can. You crawl, walk or fall into a new — and different — day, and live your life. . . one step at a time.
“Sometimes you take one step forward and you slip back three, and it hurts down there in the gutter.
“In that situation, what you do is, you pick yourself up by your bootstraps, brush off the dust and dirt, and crawl, walk or fall into a new — and different — day. And you are thankful for forgiveness, not once, not seven times, but until seventy times seven.
“And you are thankful for time. Time is the greatest balm I know for wounds of the body, mind or spirit. In time, wounds turn to scars and scars turn to calluses.
“A callus, in this sense, does not mean being hardened, feeling no emotion, having no grief, no sympathy for others. It means your wounds have turned to scars, your scars have turned to calluses. . . and you don’t hurt anymore.
“Well, you don’t hurt as bad.”
I don’t remember what prompted that entry in my journal. I don’t remember when I recorded those reflections. It could have been when I lost a son, or a wife, or a friend. . . and I was trying to crawl, walk or fall into a new — and different — day.
The following two pages in the little notebook that I pulled out of the box this morning must have been written when I was looking back and wondering about time. . . and what I had done with the time allotted to me. Here is what I said:
“By the time you are ready to go to school, you are ready to enjoy being a little kid.
“By the time you are out of school, you are ready to be a student.
“By the time you retire from a job, you are ready to go to work.
“By the time you are ready to die, you are ready to start living.”
I ended that little segment of my journal with the question: “What in the world are we waiting for?”
I can’t wait to see what I pull out of the box next, or what new reflection, idea or thought I write in one of the little notebooks not yet full and ready for storage in the closet.
Virgil Adams is a former owner and editor of The Jackson Herald.

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Column
By: Ralph Hudgens
The Jackson Herald
January 22, 2003

Sen. Hudgens gives a weekly report
on first week of legislature
This was a historic week at the Capitol as we began the first week of the 2003 session. On Monday, Jan. 13, power of the Senate was transferred to the Republican majority as Senator Eric Johnson of Savannah was elected president pro tempore and Senator Tom Price of Roswell was elected majority leader. Later in the day, a joint session of the House and Senate convened for the inauguration of the governor, lieutenant governor and other constitutional officers of the State. Governor Sonny Perdue became the first Republican governor of Georgia in 132 years.
On Wednesday, Jan. 15, the Senate joined the House for the governor’s budget address. Although Governor Perdue suggested tax increases, I believe that we will be able to raise the revenue needed by finding additional areas to cut spending, thereby making tax increases unnecessary.
On Thursday, Governor Perdue announced that he will introduce an ethics legislation package that will create an office of inspector general to investigate fraud, waste, abuse and corruption in state agencies. This legislative package will also have many other aspects that will help clean up corruption in the State of Georgia.
I have received my committee assignments and feel they meet the needs of our district. I am chairman of the retirement committee and vice chairman of the agriculture and consumer affairs committee. I will also serve on the banking committee, the natural resources committee and the reapportionment committee.
Practically every piece of legislation concerning water will be assigned to either the agriculture committee or the natural resources committee. That will enable me to protect our water and ensure that it is not transferred out of our Savannah River basin.
The week beginning Monday, January 20, the General Assembly will be in recess in order that the appropriations committee can have hearings regarding the 2004 budget. We will resume our regular activities on Monday, January 27.
If I can be of service to you please don’t hesitate to contact me in Atlanta at (404) 656-0084 or in the District at (706) 783-2405. I can also be reached by e-mail at ralphhudgens@aol.com. Thank you giving me the opportunity to serve as your state senator.


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