I am sitting in the Jackson, MS airport and feeling rather pensive. Met some wonderful people here at the paper: people I will continue to support and stay in touch with, here, there and everywhere.
Learned a few things and hope I taught a few lessons. Been in "hay-el" here in many ways and this morning, I woke up remembering how much fun I thought going to hell might be, when I was much younger. Think of the super conversations one could/would have with people like Hitler; Khomeini; Idi Amin; Pol Pot....you know they are all there. And the stories they could tell and the questions I would want to ask...very interesting but also would be quite depressing. And then, I realized that it just isn't fair to make fun of the one syllable words like HELL that are spoken as two syllables here. This hasn't been hell...it has been unique, different, frustrating, satisfying at times and just down right good eating!
Mississippians know how to cook and how to eat. Now, there is a very high percentage of obese people here and that has to be due to more than genetics. Am thinking it has to do with sausage gravy, grits, bacon and more. I resisted all of these things but I sure did enjoy crawdads and creole meals with just a hint of a bite.
Jackson has been a growth experience for me and I even found myself quoting Bob Carlson, the VP of Advertising at The News-Press. Having flash backs but realized that hell is just a situation made by my not looking carefully at the "why" behind the "what." Found I was telling folks to "inspect what you expect;" or minimize the "wasted rework." And you have only a few seconds to suck someone in to your message so you better have a clear one. Funny what one internalizes and when it just pops to mind.
Felt like saying, "Tempus Fugit" a million times. My old Latin teacher, Mrs. Lee, long dead would have been pleased to hear me saying and thinking this. The amount of wasted time here in the deep South is amazing. It isn't wasted time; rather it is a "relaxed" method of working. I maybe could get my arms around that after about 30 years living here. Relaxed equals not on time.
Looking forward to being home in Michigan with Heidi, Chris and the kids. Hoping I can be helpful in some way or the other.