Neely Young: More Things I've Learned

Every December I write a Christmas column full of quips and quotes. The late Jimmy Townsend, the famous sage of Jasper, got me started about 40 years ago when I was editor of the weekly newspaper, The Cherokee Tribune, in Canton. Every year many of our readers send me more for my collection. Here are a few to ponder, with attribution where possible.

I’ve learned:

That life is a ticket to the greatest show on earth.

That what my friend Frankie Benson Noble says is true. “Love many. Trust few. Always paddle your own canoe.”

That our time on earth is like a three-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.

That a golfer never feels better than when he is below par.

That the older we become, the more like ourselves we are.

That while we are postponing, life speeds by.

That in God we trust.

That a soft tongue may strike hard.

That the happiest moments of all are spent at home in the presence of a loving family.

That our government gets the best people – one way or another.

That it’s not the heat, it’s the humanity.

That politics is the art of the passable.

That mankind proves that God has a sense of humor.

That any idiot can stand up to a crisis – it’s the day-to-day living that wears you out.

That Proverbs is correct in that a merry heart doest good like a medicine.

That everything has been figured out, except how to live.

That to succeed, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and most important, a funny bone. – Reba McEntire.

That we live in a world that is like a flower, and love is the honey.

That our existence is the true sum of all of our choices in life.

That those who live well have a simple philosophy: Fill what’s empty. Empty what’s full. Scratch where it itches.

That we make a living by what we get, but we make ourselves happy and successful by what we give.

That the first half of our lives is ruined by our parents, the middle quarter by our children and the last part is gloriously redeemed by our grandchildren.

That childhood is pleasant, death is peaceful. It’s the transition that is troublesome.

That your life is your grandchildren’s history.

That “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana.

That life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.

That how far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your own life you will be all of these.

That there is no lock that will hold against the power of gold.

That it’s true, to quote cousin Archie Griffin: “You are born with your relatives, thank God for your friends.”

That “life is nothing without friendships.” – Cicero, 55 B.C.

My favorite quote is: “Die when I may, I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.” – Abraham Lincoln.

“Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings … I’ve trod the high untrespassed sanctity of space, put out my hand, and touched the face of God.” – John Gillespie Magee, Jr., aviator, 1941.

Some wine-inspired wisdom and good advice from the menu of Halyards Restaurant, St. Simons:

As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters be pointing in the right direction.

Life is too short to drink bad wine.

Water divides continents and their peoples, wine unites them.

Try a wine you’ve never had before. If you don’t like it, the chef will drink it.

Call your mother and tell her you love her.

One martini, two martini, three martini, floor!

Carpe Diem!

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