Keeping things the same


If someone were to ask my wife to describe me using just one word, she would most likely use the word… boring. I prefer the word – consistent. I don’t like change, or surprises or things out of place or any disruption in a schedule, even if that schedule only occurs in my mind. 

To illustrate my consistency (or boredom), I have worn the same brand and style of blue jeans for 45 years. Only the waist size has changed. Anyone who has known me for more than a decade knows that I drive only one kind of truck, one kind of tractor, and vote one way on Election Day. 

I have been with my only wife for 38 years, and if she ever leaves me (due to boredom, no doubt) I’d finish out my years as a single man, for it would just be too much of a change for me to break in a new one.

I chronicle all of my obsessive/compulsive behavior in order to explain my frustration with the United States Postal Service and their recent change of procedure. It seems that the movement of mail from the hometown of my youth to my present address will now take a 300-mile detour through Kansas City, causing certain items to arrive at my home later. Please refer to paragraph number 1.

For the past 60 some years, ever since I learned to read, I have received my weekly, hometown newspaper every Thursday. Through blizzards, tornadoes, floods, ice storms and wars, I could always count on sitting down on Thursday evening and reading The Ozark County Times. Even though I haven’t lived there in 50 years, and have no living relatives left in the county, I derive great pleasure from keeping up with the people with whom I grew up – every Thursday. 

There is hardly a week that goes by that the obituary page doesn’t describe someone I knew. If I turn to the birth announcements, I, more often than not, know the child’s grandparents or great-grandparents. When I read the court records, the family names still ring with a familiarity of my younger days. If there are pictures accompanying a story, I can usually identify the place without reading the caption, and I’ve been able to do that every Thursday.

My family reminds me that even my hometown weekly paper is available online, just like the big boys, and if I’m so obsessed with making sure I keep my Thursday ritual intact, I could simply log on and read it on the computer. Again, refer to paragraph number 1.

I guess I’ll just have to adapt to change and deal with the fact that I may have to read the deaths, births, court cases, and fascinating pictures from my hometown not every Thursday like I have my entire lifetime, but sometimes on a Friday. Last week, it arrived on a Saturday… a SATURDAY!

Jerry Crownover farms in Lawrence County. He is a former professor of Agriculture Education at Missouri State University, and is an author and professional speaker. To contact Jerry, go to and click on ‘Contact Us.’


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