Jamie Patterson Managing EditorOur son James strutted into the living room with a look that meant he had something very important to share.
“Do you want to see my Band Aid,” he asked, tugging at his pant leg.
My husband Jason told James that he did, but I had seen enough of it for one day. I had the misfortune of taking both of our children to get their flu shots earlier that day.
Dropping his pants to the floor, James pointed to the Spiderman Band Aid on his thigh. He was proud of his wound and wanted the world to see it.
“You know what,” he asked. “It really didn’t hurt that bad.”
I almost spit the water I was drinking out of my mouth.
It didn’t hurt that bad?
This is the same kid who had to be restrained at the doctor’s office. This is the same child who broke a nurse’s ear drum with his screams of anguish. This is the same little angel who attempted to escape the office by clawing his way through me earlier.
It took another glass of water and an Aspirin to settle my nerves down again after he gave Jason his “battle” story with his Band Aid.
It all began at 8 a.m. that morning. I decided to leave the kids out of school for the morning since our doctor’s appointment was at 9:30 a.m. in Jackson.
After hearing the horror story of James’ production at a local doctor’s office during his strep throat test, I decided to get out of town for this one.
The kids have a regular pediatrician in Jackson, and our daughter Elsie had to go in for her 18-month check-up. I decided to bring them both in to get their flu shots as well.
What was I thinking?
I can tell you that at the time I thought I was Super Mom. I would take both the babies in to get their shots with no complaints. I had this under control. I expected a few tears but nothing outrageous. I even told Jason I was going to show him how it was done since he lost control of the situation the last time he took James to the doctor.
Those were my famous last words.
I went ahead and broke the news to James that he would more than likely have to get a shot. There was no sense in misleading him, right?
I began to promise presents and gifts for good behavior. When that didn’t work, I vowed to take his hunting game away if he misbehaved.
And during the ride to the big city, I never heard another word about “the shot.”
Until we got to the doctor’s office, all was well.
After they called our names, James slowly made his way back to the check-up room. He kept twirling his thumbs, looking around every corner and jerking with every noise he heard.
This kid was onto everybody.
Once we made it to the back room, he planted himself down in the chair and didn’t make a sound. I could see his eyes scanning across the room. He was on the lookout for that dreaded shot.
When the doctor came into the room, James remained calm. He even laughed a little when Elsie was poked with every gadget out of the doctor’s pocket.
“Now, are we ready to get our flu shots,” the doctor asked, with a smile.
“Nooooo,” James yelled at the top of his lungs. “No shot!!”
The same kid who had remained seated and quiet was now up in the corner trying to claw his way out of the room. He even took a swing.
Poor Elsie stared at her brother in confusion. She had never seen such a tantrum.
I told James that Elsie would go first to prove it wasn’t that bad. She would cry a little, but it would be over in seconds.
James stood in full attention as he watched Elsie get the shot in her chubby little leg. She cried and quivered her lip for a second, but she handled it quite well.
And then James went back into “flight” mode, barricading himself against the wall.
“Do you want me to go grab another nurse to help,” the nurse asked.
Defeated and embarrassed, I agreed that it was time to call in help.
Within seconds, these two nurses had James on the table. It was clear that these two ladies were in charge and had done this before.
Before I knew it, one nurse had James hands behind his head. The whole time she was trying to calm him down with sweet, soothing sounds.
James continued to scream at the top of his lungs. Elsie was so upset that she thought they were hurting her big brother. She even hurled her pacifier at them and began to scream too.
When the other nurse let go of James’ leg to prepare the shot, he began to kick them around like a crazed Ninja. At one point, I thought he was going to kick the window out.
But the “stick” happened.
And would you believe that as James watched the needle go into his skinny leg, he quit hollering.
The spectacle was over. Elsie grabbed her pacifier back. James had two stickers and a red sucker.
And two wonderful nurses went back to work like nothing happened.
By the time we got back into the car, I was at the end of my rope. I was more stressed than the kids.
We will have to do this every year, I said to myself.
Well, I hope Jason can handle it.
Walter Patterson Herald ColumnistRepublicans on the national level find themselves in an untenable position.
Not much of what the GOP stands for today can be sold to the public. The Democrats, on the other hand, have outmaneuvered the Republicans, and almost anything they want will be passed in congress and signed by the President in short order.
We hear talk of going over the “fiscal cliff,” and all of us worry that no compromise will occur to keep us from sliding over the edge. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we went over the “fiscal cliff” when Obamacare was declared constitutional by a heavy handed Supreme Court.
Now we face another economic deadline. When the New Year begins, all of Obama’s taxes will kick in and the so-called “Bush Tax Cuts” will expire. Everyone who is working will pay more taxes – a lot more taxes. Unless something is worked out in Congress, this is the “fiscal cliff” you’ve been hearing about. Additionally, the “debt ceiling must be raised, and Tim Geithner has stated that it should be raised to infinity.
So what are the Republicans to do? Should they vote to raise taxes on the rich or should they cave in and just give the Democrats their way.
Unfortunately, they will cave. They have no other choice. If you make more than $250,000 per year, your pay check is going to get smaller. Will the Republicans try to curb spending and modify the entitlement programs that are gobbling up billions of dollars each year? They will give lip service to trying to curb the growth of these programs, but in the end, they will give in and let the Democrats have their way. If they don’t, the Democrats will simply blame them for letting the country slide off the fiscal cliff and causing another recession.
Do you honestly believe that Harry Reid will compromise with the Republicans? Do you believe that Barack Obama will compromise with the Republicans? Why should either of them compromise when in the end they are going to get what they want?
Harry Reid is one of the most partisan politicians I have ever seen. He hates the Republican Party and what it stands for, and he will do or say anything to get his way. During the recent election, he stated publically that if Romney won, “none of his proposals would be considered in the Senate.” That’s compromise for you.
Senator Patty Murray, the Democrat Senator from Washington has stated that she wants to see us go over the “fiscal cliff.” This woman is a multi-millionaire, yet she wants this economy to tank. Well, not really. She says that she is willing to go over the fiscal cliff, but in reality, she knows that the GOP will fold like boiled spaghetti.
The Democrat Party has managed to get the Hispanic vote squarely in its corner. The Democrats have done this by making things like food stamps and Medicaid available to those who have illegally crossed the border into our country. Then they have managed through hook or crook to get these same people eligible to vote. The truth is that the GOP may never win another national election.
Freedom and the ability to rise or fall on your on talents and work ethic are now just memories.
The government will take care of all of us from the cradle to the grave. We will morph into France or Greece, and we will only become upset when our “benefits” are denied. Mr. Obama has promised that he “wants to fundamentally change America.”
In four short years, he had managed to do what he said he was going to do, and we became a socialist country with not so much as a whimper. The GOP talked a good game, but the talk was cheap. As a result, conservatives have found themselves in an untenable position without a leader and without a cause.
The Democrats, after more than 50 years of dedication to the socialist movement, have won this battle. I wonder if I’m too old to learn to speak French or Greek?
Jamie Patterson Managing EditorI really wasn’t quite sure what was going on when I discovered my husband Jason shifting through a mountain of sale papers.
Wednesday’s edition of The Yazoo Herald was stuffed with an assortment of inserts highlighting the best after Thanksgiving Day sales or “Black Friday” deals as many of us call it.
Apparently, Jason was clueless about this.
“Look at all these deals,” he said, pointing to an air hockey table. “This place is practically giving the stuff away.”
Like a child at Christmas, I had to listen to Jason “ohhhh” and “ahhhh” over everything from a portable pool table to a Polo shirt to flat screen television.
Patting him on his back, I tried to explain to him the significance of Black Friday.
“Now, do you see why I get up so early,” I asked. “This is what Black Friday is all about. You can get some really good deals, but you have to battle the crowd and have a game plan.”
Black Friday has been a part of my life ever since my earliest memory. It was a day of excitement, frustration. It was every emotion you could think of, all wrapped up in one day with a giant bow on top.
My Maw Maw was the best Black Friday shopper in three counties.
She would study and mark all the sale papers the night before. She reminded me of an Army general, plotting her plan of attack for a very important battle.
Then we would wake up at 2 a.m., load the Ford station wagon up and head out.
Poor Paw Paw wanted to tag along one year but Maw Maw refused. Paw Paw was restricted to a wheelchair, and Maw Maw felt it “would slow things down.”
I felt bad for Paw Paw that day, but after I told him about the fight that broke out between two women over a Cabbage Patch doll, he was glad he stayed home.
The station wagon would come into the mall parking lot on two wheels as my face was shoved against the glass.
I was dragged to every store from Sears to McRae’s (now known as Belk) to Dillards to Toys R Us to Wal-Mart. I can remember the box of Cracker Jacks they would give you at McRae’s.
I thought I would settle in for a delicious snack of caramel popcorn only to have Maw Maw snatch the box out of my hand.
“You gotta dump it,” she said, throwing the popcorn into a huge trash can the store provided. “There might be the diamond ring inside.”
For hours, I was shoved into glass doors, pushed down crowded aisles. One time, my cousin and I were instructed to sit atop a giant stuffed polar bear to prevent any other shopper grabbing it before Maw Maw got to it.
And at the end of the day, we returned home with a station wagon full of gifts and toys.
My mother was the same way. She even got up at midnight one night to purchase the next craze in technology at one of those giant super centers.
I have even camped with Momma outside a store before.
I am proud to say that I am carrying on the tradition of the Black Friday madness.
I haven’t camped outside a store yet or tried to get to those midnight sales. But I do wake up at 4 a.m., fueled with coffee and my plastic card.
And judging by Jason’s excitement over the sale papers, I probably could have a helper the night before as I route my plan of attack.
But Jason must stay at home when it gets down to it.
Black Friday can be a chaotic time with both laughter and tears.
It’s no place for rookies.
Jason Patterson Editor & PublisherThis Thanksgiving I find myself thankful for so many things.
When I was younger I always imagined the mid-thirties as a boring time in life, but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s an age when you really start discovering who you are.
I’ve found that there is more time in the day than I ever realized before as I’ve been forced to squeeze the most out of every day. Having a demanding job and a young family equals a lot of responsibility, but I’ve been blessed to have a job that I truly enjoy and a family that I love beyond measure.
I haven’t done this in awhile, but I think it’s worthwhile to reflect on the things we’re thankful for. Here are some of the things on the top of my list:
n I’m thankful for all of the people in my life who helped shape me along the way. From my family, to my church family, to great teachers and those who taught me in my career, I have been blessed to encounter some great people in my life.
From a career standpoint, Mrs. Marie Downs was easily the most influential person who led me to writing. She was a talented English teacher, but the biggest thing was that she believed in me so much that I felt obligated to try to meet her expectations. I haven’t had to write a term paper in nearly 20 years, but I still feel that way. Sometimes when I make a stupid mistake in the newspaper, I’m tempted to go steal Mrs. Downs’ copy out of her mailbox.
When I came to The Yazoo Herald I had a lot of writing experience, but I was totally ignorant about the business side of a newspaper. I was very fortunate to work for Gary Andrews, who taught me those things and had the patience to teach them to a sometimes slow learner.
n I’m thankful that there are so many positive people in our community. Like any place, Yazoo has no shortage of people with negative attitudes who love to complain but rarely lift a finger to improve the things they’re mad about.
Fortunately, there are more people who see the good things in Yazoo and are willing to work to make the most of those things. It wasn’t that long ago that some of the people making major investments in downtown Yazoo City were regarded as crazy by some people who believed all hope was lost. Now those “crazy” people look like visionaries as new activity continues to appear on Main Street and more is on the horizon.
The same phenomenon is taking place on Fifteenth Street, where new life is appearing in once vacant buildings.
If these things can happen during a struggling economy, imagine what can happen when things improve.
And it will improve.
n I’m thankful that my father taught me to appreciate the outdoors. Whether it’s hunting, fishing or just exploring, I find no greater peace than when I’m outside enjoying God’s creation. I hope that my children will understand the value of turning off the cell phones and computers and experiencing nature.
I’m thankful that our four-year-old son seems to have been born with a love for these things. He provides me with an additional incentive to break away. Our little girl is already showing an interest in tagging along.
n I’m thankful that God gave me the ability to learn from my mistakes because I have made many. I’ve made a lot less since I met the girl who has now been my wife for five years. I’m certainly thankful for Jamie. My life has improved immensely since she came into the picture.
n I’m thankful to live in a free country, and for all of the brave men and women who have fought to keep it that way.
n I’m thankful for all of you who are reading this newspaper. Thanks to you I’m able to do what I love the most in the place I love the most. I appreciate each and every one of you.
Jamie Patterson Managing EditorI knew something was up the second my husband Jason starting encouraging me to get out more with my friends.
Over the past month, he has been more understanding and willing to keep our children while I do things with my friends.
As a working mother of two, the idea of meeting a girlfriend for supper, going shopping with some old friends or even taking a movie in alone is a luxury. So I started getting suspicious when Jason was recommending I do some of these things.
No, dear readers, it’s not another woman or other life. It’s something far more complicated. I don’t have a dog in the race on this one.
Deer season begins this weekend.
I first noticed the “signs” when I discovered a bag of fertilizer, oats and other seeds in the back of my truck.
Then his younger brother Eric started popping in almost every weekend. The two would frolick out to their land and not return until after dark, smelling like a tractor.
Eric even had that gleam in his eye.
Then Jason began to cook just about every package of venison we had in the freezer. From sausage to burger to steak, I have had just about every form of deer there is to eat over the past few weeks.
Jason started to get a little skip in his step. Pretty soon, he was obsessed with the weekend weather forecast.
“Why can’t it get colder,” he mumbled with frustration, as he left the room.
Then the gun cleaning boxes start to get left out on the dining table. The guns that were hidden began to make an appearance.
I found a bag of bullets under my car seat last week.
Our son James began to let the cat out of the bag too.
“We put up a deer stand today,” he said, strutting inside from an afternoon with Dad.
And then there comes the printing of deer camera pictures. These are pictures of bucks that he shows to friends and keeps on standby in case a complete stranger sparks an interest.
And, more importantly, he doesn’t complain about my requests.
“Could you watch the kids tonight while I go get some shopping done,” I ask.
“Sure, I’ve got nothing to do tonight,” he said. “Take your time. Be sure to keep your eye out for Christmas presents. I’ll bathe and feed the kids too.”
I freeze with concern and confusion. He is grinning at me like a madman.
“Oooookkkkk,” I respond.
And when I return home, the laundry is done and put away.
Yep, that is when it occurred to me.
“You know next weekend is deer season,” my friend told me over dinner earlier this week.
“I knew it,” I said. “I figured it was coming up.”
We both stare at each other with an understanding. We know what that means.
To me, hunting season means early morning exits, late afternoon retreats, weekend getaways, a house full of kids, bullets found in the dryer, deer urine containers left on my nightstand, deer calls left in the bathroom, skinning racks outside my bay windows, obnoxious brothers barreling down my driveway blowing the horn with Bambi’s dad loaded in the back, tall tales, “baby, look at this” moments and skinning knives left in my kitchen sink.
This happens everyday until February. Every...single...day.
I have to sneak my “girl time” in during the week after I get home from work.
The once accommodating husband is nowhere to be found.
What do you mean...entertain? It’s hunting season.
Well, who is gonna watch the kids? I’ll be in the woods.
It will be dark before I can get to that.
I don’t care about after Thanksgiving Day sales. You can’t leave at 5 a.m. cause I’ll be in a tree.
Did you wash my camouflage pants?
Where is my grunter?
Smell this new doe urine I bought.
Ridiculous if you ask me.
Well, I just better accept it and get ready.
I can tolerate this for a few months.
Trust me, when he gets my shopping bill from “the season,” he might reconsider next year.