Trying to tame nine dozen thoughts

Published 12:45 pm Saturday, April 9, 2022

Thursday afternoon, April 7 – staring at this computer screen while watching coverage of the Masters – my favorite PGA golf event … well that and The British Open or any tournament held at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, both of which I’ve been fortunate to have visited in person – trying to discern what to write about amongst the 9-dozen thoughts rattling around in my brain from Ukraine, Vietnam, Masters (Tiger Woods … amazing), never ending 1964 project Land Rover Series IIA, Ole Miss, house items and how they got here, seed ticks, stuff that has shaped my life, plants, bulbs, etc.

I’ve brought from Gert’s in southern Missouri now blooming here, how I decided on the “last” car I want to own, my cat, Jag’s (Jaguar) amazing intelligence, report on my Lent, how I roll…and why, medical professionals keeping me upright and swell folk, my faith, likes/dislikes – secret to life (mine anyway) … okay, this paragraph’s way too long..

From July 1969 to August 1970, I experienced many near-death incidents, regular day, week, month, rocket, mortar attacks (especially first six months) for a cause none of us truly understood – follow orders or go to jail!  But I cannot wrap my head around what that demonic, assassin, and total dumb ass Putin is doing to Ukraine and what those innocent, peace-loving people are experiencing!  It would be like Oxford under a similar siege … so unreal, unfair!

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Thursday, after 8:30 Mass, had my regular three-month checkup with hero Dr. Mona Castle – lab work numbers “perfect,” “very pleased,” and prescribed an antibiotic for the four bloody hell tick bites sustained over the last few days – then to my new vet, Crossroads, where Maddie and Kimmie (wonderful) provided me with a two-month supply of BRAVECTO, fleas, ticks, roundworms, and other such stuff for Jag, had it labeled with our name ready to pick up minutes after I called – wow! But as I approached Jaguar with topical ointment in hand, he sensed my intent and ran – agh!  After a wee battle later, got it applied … whew!  Thanks to medical professionals and all friendly folk that make my life much more swell.

Jag adopted me about six years ago, and is THE most intelligent animal ever to own me! From day one, he taught me when and what he likes to eat, what time to get up (5:30 a.m.) regardless if it’s a weekend, Christmas or whatever, when he wants to go bed, knows my routine, adopted his to that schedule, and is the most unrestricted cat on this planet. God knew what I needed … cannot imagine my life without him.

Through the winter I’ve worked in the house to organize stuff, more to do, but am very pleased, and have all the parts I need to rebuild the dreaded front swivel ball assemblies on my 1964 land Rover, Series IIA – no more excuses … as soon as the days begin to be nice consistently … time to just tear into it, full speed ahead, and damn the torpedoes!!

A furniture commercial this past week suggested people get new stuff so they don’t have to apologize for their old stuff.  Well excuse me, but I’m proud of what I have, nothing (or little) new, things from our home in southern Missouri, found on the curb, bought at sales, etc. have wonderful stories to tell about each, are extremely meaningful and loved by me!

Watching the opening day of the Masters, am blown away after that horrendous car crash that almost cost Tiger Woods his life and right leg, that he’s in the field competing with a swell chance to win his sixth Green Jacket – unreal…Go Tiger and good luck to all golfers especially my hero, Steve Stricker!

My friend in England, Paul Higgs, just today posted THE classic mini I want – 1992, British Open Special, 5-speed, right-hand drive, with full folding top! It will take a full column to explain why I dismissed all other vehicles.

Lent is going way swell as always!  To date, I’ve lost 10 pounds by fasting, no booze or sweets, discipline – feel great, sleep better, more alert, getting more done – full report perhaps next column as Lent is officially over next Thursday, Holy Thursday, April 14.  

Lots of things have shaped my life, most of all – finances…if I couldn’t afford it, didn’t buy it, and made do with what I had as my hero mom, “Gert” taught me.  There is no way I would want to win a lottery because it would “ruin” me!

Arriving in Oxford (Camelot) in 1988, working on our Ole Miss Campus with our awesome students, completing my Ph.D., in Counseling has been life-fulfilling!  So thankful I didn’t move to Scotland forever – whew…see why next paragraph …

The secret of life, likes, dislikes, how I “roll” are one and the same:  I’ve given my life to God – and what happens to me is God’s will for me, always right in the end, and I go with that flow…works for me, very humbly, not easy, but not hard as God’s yoke is light. Peace Out, y’all … as I enjoy plants, bulbs, from my home in southern Missouri, blooming here.


Steve Stricker is an Oxford resident, received his Ph.D. in Counseling from Ole Miss, worked on Campus, and can be reached at