Simply missing color commentary

?Tonight before I sleep, I?ll give thanks for two fine weeks and the people, big and small, who filled them. And tomorrow, I?ll buy some more sunflowers.? ?Sharon Randall

There?s a columnist out of Las Vegas who has a way of stringing together words that leave you feeling like you?ve just been hugged.

?The sunflowers that smiled for two weeks on my kitchen table stopped smiling today. Actually, it wasn?t just a single bunch of flowers. I?d been picking out the ones that faded and buying fresh ones to add to the vase as needed to keep them looking happy?like me.?

Sharon Randall wrote that this week. She runs every Sunday in the Salina Journal, and because I like words that feel like a hug, I always skip the front page and find her first. Then I?m warm and fuzzy enough for the hard news with the big headlines.

One thing I love about some small-town papers is their willingness to publish personal thoughts through columns. It isn?t a common practice at larger papers anymore, which is too bad because I like to think of them as a type of ?color commentary? that complement news stories. An arsenal of columnists is that much better. If one doesn?t touch a nerve for a reader, the next one might.

I?ve been paying attention to the national news a little more since the Colorado theater shooting. Unfortunately, like any tragedy, for a while we want to fill up on the latest until we have heard so much we can?t handle anymore. I remember doing the same thing when 9-11 happened. I was hooked on the unfolding story for what seemed to be months on end.

There is something about a tragedy that is almost addictive. It must stem from the shock. Maybe we think the more we hear, the more sense it will start to make, even though that?s not possible. That?s when it?s time for the television version of escapism, or another kind of ?color commentary,? clicking through the channels desperate for a Seinfeld rerun.

On a lighter comparison, my little family spends a lot of weekends away from home. Whether we are traveling to see friends and family together or the girls are bouncing around, there are a lot of miles on the tires.

Sometimes I welcome these breaks and use them to do what I want when I want. But sometimes I simply miss the color commentary that can only be brought by kids. I will catch myself waiting for a comment if I do something lame-brained.

Having kids around may become overwhelming and just plain loud at times, but who else can find humor in the most mundane actions of the every day?

They are good for a laugh, first to break my hypnotization and ask for a channel change if I am watching too much headline news. Not to mention, professionals at giving play-by-play analyses of any and all random comments that come out of my mouth.

As ?huggy? as that columnist?s words were this past Sunday morning, they don?t touch the real good morning hugs I?m lucky enough to get from little arms almost every other morning.

And as fun as roaming the countryside is for a few days on the weekends, that?s at least one good reason to tolerate Mondays, when schedules get back on track. That?s the kind of color that needs no commentary.

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