If wishes were fishes, we’d all have a fry

Holidays on a Tuesday will wreck a mind.

Well, my mind.

It doesn’t seem like Monday until Wednesday and if it’s Wednesday I’m way late with things.

My dad always told me I’d complain if I were hung with a golden rope. He always saw the good in any situation, so I’m figuring if the rope were gold, that was good.

Another of his wisdoms showed up every time I worried about going out in the rain. He’d say, “You ain’t sugar, you won’t melt.” Guess not. In fact, I rather like rain, but the lightning and thunder certainly can go away. My favorite rain came down soft and warm one day while I was at the University of Iowa, and I walked for miles, shoeless, splashing in the rain and singing odd songs.

You know I love to sing and I knew a lot of odd little songs – probably because whenever our family went anywhere, Mom and Dad would sing on the way home. So I picked up a lot of quick little ditties I liked to sing.

One of my best friendships at Iowa just fell into my lap on the corner north of the journalism school about 10 o’clock one Friday morning. I was going down the hill, and Galen Engh, also a 1965 graduate of Eagle Grove High School, had just turned the corner and was coming up the hill. I hadn’t even known he was at Iowa, so that was a big surprise.

Turned out we were having a small gathering at my place that night – you know, to discuss the weather and growing gardens and such – so I invited him and anyone he might want to bring. His roommate and my friend decided they were meant for one another, so the four of us saw a lot of each other for a lot of time. On one late night trip to Davenport to see the locks, we sang.

After we’d been wailing for an hour or so, Galen looked at me, grinned and said, “You can’t sing at all, but you sure have a large repertoire of songs.”

That hurt. Oh, he was right, but it hurt nonetheless. If I could change my life without losing all the good stuff I’ve seen and done, I would wish to be able to sing. I love to sing. Can’t sing worth a tinker’s – can’t sing at all, but I still like to sing.

If I could sing, I’d be on the road again, making music with my friends, assuming my friends would be with me. That’s the trouble with wishing. You can wish yourself out of everything that makes you happy and content, and losing happiness and contentment would make the ability to sing useless.

Everyone can’t have the same skill set, of course, but I wonder why everyone can’t sing well. If not well, at least passably well. Well enough so people sitting next to them don’t turn and tell them they can’t sing a bit.

Now that’s a wish worth having.

So long friends, until the next time when we’re together.

Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at mcsalt@frontiernet.net.