Proud granddaddy all over again

Published 4:34 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2009

It is a girl!

Of course, she won’t officially be here until late August, but my youngest daughter, Elizabeth, let us know this week that ML and I are going to have a granddaughter. No one in my family has ever found out the sex of a baby ahead of time. I admit when Elizabeth said she was going to determine the sex I had some misgivings. It is their baby, though, and they get to do it their way. I didn’t say a thing.

Now that I know, I can hardly stop grinning. A grandson and a granddaughter! How very cool is that going to be? I am working hard to spoil Henry, but I expect I’ll know exactly how to spoil a little girl. After all, I had some practice with that as a dad.

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I don’t know if I am supposed to tell the name yet, but it is beautiful. And she is active and healthy. Grant says she is already practicing to be on the LPGA.

Isn’t it amazing to love something so much that hasn’t even been born? There is so much I want to show her, teach her, tell her. She still weighs under a pound, but she has already captured her granddaddy’s heart, just like her mother and aunt did so many years ago.

Serious rain

Perhaps my column last week about all the rain was a bit premature, since it rained another 15 inches or so the next week. So much for timely reporting. It was seriously as much rain as I have seen in decades.

In fact, I enjoyed the discussion in Atherlon’s Barber Shop about the last time Donalsonville had that much standing water. I couldn’t offer much to that discussion since they were unsure if it was 1947 or 1948. Not that many other people are going to be able to dispute either date.

This time last year we were talking about long-term water shortages and how it might cause real trouble to Atlanta and this part of the state. Now that the reservoirs are filling back up we will probably postpone spending the money to build new lakes. Then someday in the not-too-distant future we’ll look out and see everything dry again. The only difference is Atlanta will have another million people to supply water too.

The time for plan for these shortages is now. Our long-term water needs are as critical as ever. Hopefully our leaders will take these rains a gift of time and continue to plan and allocate resources for our future needs. It won’t ever be easier than right now.

I landed in Phoenix, Ariz., this Monday morning. The air was cool and breezy, but the view from the new airport was starkly different from the airport I had just left in Georgia.

Nothing in sight was green unless you count cactus and weeds. Oh, it was all neatly manicured, but everything was just rock or sand. It was six miles before I saw the first bit of green lawn. It was in front of a bank and was about the size of two parking spaces.

I made my way to the old restored hotel where I am staying, Sanctuary at Camelback Mountain. The rooms were built into the side of the mountain. The views look out over the valley and yet another mountain range.

It is amazing at how these people live with so little water. Everything is planned with water and energy conservation in mind. The commodes even have two buttons; one for a half flush and one for a full flush. If we conserved water like this in Georgia, I can’t imagine there ever being a shortage.

The desert flowers are blooming, which is adding some color to the brownness of everything. Even the houses, roofs and fences are brown. I believe you could almost fly over the city and it would appear camouflaged.

Spectacularly beautiful, but like I said last week, there is no where more special than southwest Georgia in the springtime.

Serious news

I am attending an economic conference being held by General Electric, whose capital finance division is the single largest lender to the restaurant industry. We will hear two days of intense high-level discussion of the economy from some of the brightest minds in the business.

What I have learned so far is just how complicated this whole mess really is. We reviewed massive things being done by the governments around the world to contain this recession.

With all there is to discuss about world politics, the economy, wars and starving people, do you know what the news media has been most concerned with? The fact that President Obama gave the queen an iPod. You would have thought he had told her a dirty joke. What’s the big deal? I personally think the iPod I got a couple of years ago was one of the top gifts of all time.

And then the news media went into a frenzy about Michelle Obama touching the queen, who then touched her back. That touched off hours of discussion about who really touched who first. Really, are we so jaded with the serious news of the day that we need to get so worked up about the two ladies giving each other a small hug.

I thought it was nice. In times like these, we could all use a little hug.

Success and mismeasured

Congratulations to the University of North Carolina. I don’t think any basketball fans doubt who the best team in the country is in this year’s final game. UNC is one of those rare programs that build great teams year after year. They do it with integrity and give their players a great education to boot.

Success breeds success. Carolina has shown us that time and again.

Finally, thanks to all of you who took the time to e-mail, call, text and comment in person about the one mistake in last week’s column. You are indeed correct that I was not 40,000 miles above New Mexico. I was 40,000 feet above New Mexico.

It is interesting that I get the most comments when I make a mistake. Perhaps I should insert one or two along just to see if readers would catch them. In any case, at least I know that you are reading my column. Thanks for the feedback.