Idiot Box

A few more things I love: Kathryn Tucker Windham, bottle trees, Magnolia Springs, the color yellow, anything made of oak, slow-moving trains, Hank Williams, American buffalos, and breakfast. 

My mother-in-law is watching television, sipping a milkshake. I’m sitting with her.

She’s slurping so that I can hardly hear the television.

It’s just as well. The folks on TV are hollering at each other about political issues, mass shootings, patriotism, and weather conditions. 

My mother-in-law changes the channel and slurps louder.

Different network. Different newscasters. Same five-dollar issues. She changes it again. More shouting. More shameless slurping.

She flips the channel.

The Home Shopping Network advertises commemorative American-flag lapel pins made from recycled cellphone batteries. Only $19.99. Call now.

My mother-in-law turns the television off. She slurps her milkshake so hard the ceiling is about to cave in.

“You know,” says Mother Mary—the sophisticated voice of 1958, and all-around model American. “TV sucks.”

Truer words have seldom been spoken.

Once upon a time, I enjoyed the idiot box. I don’t anymore. The faces on television talk too much about the gruesome and repulsive. They make commentaries only on things they hate.

I wish more people talked about things they loved.

Like daisies. Why aren’t folks talking about those?

Earlier today, I pulled over to pick some. I got carried away and picked a whole armful. I wrapped the bundle of stems with duct tape and tossed the bouquet onto my dashboard.

I don’t even know who I picked them for.

You know what else I love? The late great Don Williams. I heard him singing about a woman named Amanda on the radio. I turned it up. The lyrics made me think about a woman I love.

A few more things I love: Kathryn Tucker Windham, bottle trees, Magnolia Springs, the color yellow, anything made of oak, slow-moving trains, Hank Williams, American buffalos, and breakfast.

I love the box of family photographs in my closet. Sometimes, I look at them and revisit black-and-white ancestors I never knew.

I love coffee—black and strong. Hashbrown casserole from Cracker Barrel. And my honorary Unkle Kenny. I like cheap beer. I love baseball during the summertime.

Summer. God. I love summer.

I met my wife in summer. She was wearing pink. She smelled like citrus. We went to a waterpark while we were dating. We rode waterslides and drank fruity drinks that cost an arm and a leg.

I was embarrassed in my god-awful bathing suit. I drank too many fruity drinks and told her I loved her.

I do love her. I love our car rides together. Our early suppers. I like our conversations before we fall asleep.

Yeah. I know life isn’t perfect. I’m no fool. How could I forget? The twenty-four-hour news channels are here to remind me of how bloody it is.

Even so, I don’t buy it. At least not all the way.

If you ask me, this place is a lot happier than the angry folks on TV claim. I believe it’s more than bad headlines.

It’s Andy Griffith reruns, kids dressed like cowboys for Halloween, the mighty Sepulga, Babe Ruth games at sunset, anything that barks or wags a tail, old photographs, and vanilla milkshakes slurped by elderly women who watch QVC.

I think the point I’m trying to make is:


These daisies are for you.


  1. Harold Duncan - October 17, 2017 12:01 pm

    I can’t thank you enough for the daisies you give me every day! My life is better because of you. May God continue to bless and keep you safe.

  2. C from McKenzie - October 17, 2017 12:13 pm

    I love the Sepulga too!

  3. Connie - October 17, 2017 12:16 pm

    Thank you. I love that you see things with love. I also truly love that in just two days you will be in my city and I will get to hear you, and see you, and maybe get your autograph in one of your books. I have 4. Aiming to get them all.

    • Barbara J Schweck - October 17, 2017 5:00 pm

      Connie, Where oh where do you live? I would love to have a chance to meet Sean.

  4. Suzette Allen - October 17, 2017 12:21 pm

    Oh I love this. My mother LOVED daisies. Simple flowers aren’t the best flowers. We laid her to rest in June under a blanket of red roses and daisies. I’m not really sure that’s the point of this story but I miss my mother and I love daisies too.

    • Suzette Allen - October 17, 2017 12:21 pm

      I meant that to say “simple flowers are the best flowers”

  5. Marty from Alabama - October 17, 2017 12:24 pm

    Once again, Thank You. I love re-runs of old TV shows, lot more sense to them. Don’t forget public TV. “Sewing with Nancy,” is my favorite. Have a good day.

  6. Linda Parker - October 17, 2017 12:24 pm

    Thank you, good to be reminded!!

  7. Janet Williams - October 17, 2017 12:33 pm

    You might want to find a copy of Tom T. Hall’s “I Love.” At least, if I remember correctly, that’s the title. I think you’ll like it.

    • Maxine Cockerill - November 21, 2017 1:20 am

      Tom T was my mothers favorite and .” I………….Love” was too.

  8. Sue Cronkite - October 17, 2017 12:45 pm

    This one hit the nail on the head. Especially the paragraph with Kathryn Windham in it.
    You didn’t mention grandbabies. Must not be old enough.

  9. Anne Godwin - October 17, 2017 12:51 pm

    Thanks. I love your outlook on life. I gave up watching the news about five years ago. It’s mostly negative. If I really need to know something, I’ll hear about it.

  10. Dee Fritzie - October 17, 2017 1:10 pm

    Thank you Sean. You knew what I needed today. Daisies.

  11. Jack Quanstrum - October 17, 2017 1:33 pm

    Thank you Sean. You put a smile on my face. Yes , I believe as you do. There is alot more good in the world then what is broadcast on TV as well as alot more things to love that maybe simple things but that are wonderous. For me it is riding my bicycle 40 to 60 miles on Alabama country roads or hiking on Oak Mountain spending time with my grandson just to name a few. Daisies to you Sean. Shalom!

    • Kay Keel - October 17, 2017 7:50 pm

      I just hiked to Peavine falls on Oak Mountain this weekend with my grandsons and their parents. We had a blast! Such beauty!

  12. Summer Hartzog - October 17, 2017 1:34 pm

    Thank you! I was just this morning thinking about daisies!

  13. Nina Thompson - October 17, 2017 1:39 pm

    Daisies are my favorite! Thank you!

  14. Sandy Smith - October 17, 2017 1:49 pm

    Check out Travis Meadows music.
    His lyrics are yours…put to music !

  15. Pam Bishop - October 17, 2017 1:50 pm

    Well said

  16. Maria - October 17, 2017 2:16 pm

    So beautiful! Yes, I long for the days without cell phones, internet, enjoying a sunset, true friends and RESPECT we had for others.

  17. jackmokan - October 17, 2017 2:18 pm

    I’m a pretty hard boiled character, but I cherish your writing!

  18. Janet Chutro - October 17, 2017 2:25 pm

    Thanks for the daisies. They’re my favorite flower. And I agree with you.

  19. anthonykorey - October 17, 2017 2:29 pm


    The way you take me down memory lane is unlike any other. It is truly awe inspiring. Thank you for what you do.
    Tony Korey

  20. Melanie Tighe - October 17, 2017 2:40 pm

    I sure could use me an Alabama summer right about now. Miss my family in Dothan. My cousin’s granddaughter will be in the Little Miss Peanut pageant this weekend and here I am stuck in Krazytown Kalifornia. Thanks for the daisies Sean. ❤️

  21. R. H. Kirkland - October 17, 2017 2:45 pm

    Thank you for the daisies today!

  22. Sylvia Sykes - October 17, 2017 2:48 pm

    I totally agree with this one, Sean!

  23. Judy Miller - October 17, 2017 2:49 pm

    I love the voice of Don Williams. Sad at his recent passing.

  24. Vickie - October 17, 2017 3:25 pm

    Thank you for the reminder for us to be positive.

  25. Karen - October 17, 2017 3:45 pm

    Thank you Sean, Yes, the TV these days is so negative. There is a lot of good going on we do not hear about. I love flowers, sweet smell of mornings, laughing and sharing fun times. Your writing makes my day…paints a pretty picture of life attributes if we would pay attention to them. You are a true Blessing!! Thank you!!

  26. Toni Gerdes - October 17, 2017 4:31 pm

    You always .seem to make me both smile and cry. You live in the same South I do.

  27. Lynda in Alaska - October 17, 2017 4:39 pm

    Very good, Sean, so true. The Daisy article is wonderful. A “keeper” as they say. May God bless you.

  28. Barbara J Schweck - October 17, 2017 4:58 pm

    Thank you so much Sean. Not only for the daisies but for the daily reminder of all the beauty in this world- the little things like milkshakes, the big things like the Grand Canyon, and the amazing people-Oh yes, the people who have such beautiful spirits. And you Sean are one of them.

  29. Brenda - October 17, 2017 5:43 pm

    Turner Classic Movies any time before 1950!

  30. Perri Geaux Tigers Williamson - October 17, 2017 5:46 pm

    Awwww. Thanks. Red letter couple of days. First roses from my husband, that I have to hide in my office away from Wyatt Earp Williamson–Armaggedon cat extraordinaire, now you. I think I’ll let that old Georgia boy in on your picking secret. Easier on the wallet and preserves my vase collection from terrorizing, 25-pound Manx felines. Wyatt is green with envy…and the paint from my deacon’s bench project that he skidded on and through whilst still wet. Cat claw marks are the newest in distressing techniques!

  31. Ronnie - October 17, 2017 5:49 pm

    I love your writing! I also love daisies, thank you for mine!

  32. Amy Katherine - October 17, 2017 6:19 pm

    To this day, when I call my Mom and she is watching TV she always say, “just sittin’ here watching the idiot box” when I ask her what she’s doing. Makes me laugh every time.

  33. Brenda Reece - October 17, 2017 7:18 pm

    Thanks, daisies are my favorite.

  34. Martha Wilson - October 17, 2017 7:32 pm

    I have always loved daisies…even though they stink. Something about them is cheerful.

  35. Kay Keel - October 17, 2017 7:54 pm

    Daisies are beauty for the eyes, but my favorites are Gardenias, Wisteria and Magnolias. They are beauty for my eyes and my nose!

  36. Sue Tait - October 17, 2017 8:21 pm

    Daisies? For ME?? Why, Thank you, Darlin’… My favorites.

  37. Maxine Cockerill - October 17, 2017 8:51 pm

    I Love daisies and………….I ………………………you. so the song goes!

  38. Patricia Dianne Ables Gibson - October 18, 2017 2:35 am

    Thanks for the daisies!

  39. Rhea Wynn - October 18, 2017 11:59 am

    Thank you for the flowers. I love them – and your columns. It is refreshing to read something sweet – truly Southern. Keep it up.

  40. Sheryll Ridgway - October 18, 2017 2:37 pm

    I love all the little rabbit trails in your stories. How you might go off, but you always come back to get me in the end. Remember Sam in Pulled Pork? Snyway, thanks so much for the daisys. I wasn’t really expecting them…

  41. Kim Tillman - October 19, 2017 8:50 pm

    A daisy right back acha!

  42. Cindy Hosler - November 20, 2017 12:49 pm

    So glad to find another that loves oak furniture and the color yellow. I have many oak antiques, and yellow is a happy color that reminds me of sunshine. Thank you for the daisies-I haven’t received flowers since my son gave me 65 tulips on that special birthday 3 years ago. Love you back!

  43. Amy - November 20, 2017 2:11 pm

    Duct taped daisies…I love you, Sean!


Leave a Comment