Being cool a good thing

BY BOB WACHS, Columnist
Posted 9/29/21

Some years ago, a television commercial — it was for a brand of margarine — featured a lovely lady playing the character of Mother Nature.

The spot opened up with Mother Nature walking …

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Being cool a good thing

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Some years ago, a television commercial — it was for a brand of margarine — featured a lovely lady playing the character of Mother Nature.

The spot opened up with Mother Nature walking peacefully among the forest creatures, singing with the chirping birds and playing with the cute little bunnies as she glided along in her gown with flowers in her hair. All the while with soft music played in the background. Then somehow a slice of bread with what she took to be butter was handed to her and as she bit into the bread, she commented on how sweet the butter tasted.

From somewhere off camera a voice told her it wasn’t butter but was, instead, the afore-mentioned margarine. After a few back-and-forths of “No, it isn’t” and “Yes, it is,” Mother Nature frowns and snaps her fingers. Immediately the soft music and peaceful scene disappears and is replaced with a violent storm. We see the commercial end with a close-up of Mother Nature’s face with a wry smile that says, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!”

Through the years I have remembered that commercial (obviously) and have also adapted it a bit in my world to come to say, “It’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature.”

I’ve always been impressed with her — with what she can do and often how quickly she can do it. From childhood snows that kept us out of school for days to fits and bursts of wind and rain that turn hard dry pasture ground into quagmires of mud, she’s an impressive lady. And for me, her all-time noteworthy performances have to be hurricanes — from Hazel when I was a boy (I still remember the pounding rain and the bending of the massive oak trees) to the awful night I stayed up listening to the symphony she and Fran played in ‘96.

Mother Nature is a grand lady, to be sure, but sometimes she shows us her softer side. And that’s when I not only marvel at her majesty and power but really appreciate her kinder gentler nature.

We are in one of those now.

And I really like it.

The last few days and nights have been really good. There are still a few warm days here and there. And as far as I’m concerned, more rain would be nice. But the highlight has to be on the thermometer, especially the nighttime one.

We’ve turned off the AC, thrown up the windows and pulled up the sheet. I love cover. Sometimes in summer I crank down the air conditioner just so I can pull up the sheet. A psychiatrist or therapist might say that’s because I’m insecure and maybe so. We all are in some way or another. But I prefer to think it’s just because I like the feel of the sheet and the bedspread as I snuggle down for the night.

I also know this fit of joy won’t last forever. Pretty soon Mother Nature will really crank down the temp and it’ll be time for Shirley to bring in the firewood. But until then, I’m planning to keep enjoying those simple pleasures of autumn.

If, however, the dog doesn’t soon stop with the Midnight serenade throughout the neighborhood, just outside the window, I’m going to be in the market for some duct tape.

For him.

Not for me.

Bob Wachs is a native of Chatham County and retired long-time managing editor of the Chatham News/Chatham Record, having written a weekly column for more than 30 years. During most of his time with the newspapers, he was also a bi-vocational pastor and today serves Bear Creek Baptist Church for the second time as pastor.

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