Here's another suggestion: try snapping pictures with a film-camera sometime. You might have to search antique stores just to find one.

Kids, be good listeners. I don't know much, but I do know that good listeners are few and far between. Sometimes, it seems there too many talking heads, not enough ears. But if you listen, you can figure out nearly anything you want to.

Except politics.

And women.

But otherwise, you'll be all set.

Here's another suggestion: try snapping pictures with a film-camera sometime. You might have to search antique stores just to find one. But you'll discover photographs last longer than computer screens.

We once spent an entire hurricane in a dark bathroom with our wedding album. For hours, we thumbed through pictures by candlelight.

Most fun I've had

in years.

Keep a first-aid kit in your car. You never know when you might need it. Cuts, blisters, scrapes, puncture wounds, rattlesnake bites, disagreements with your spouse. You never know.

I once watched a man drive his Chevy into a tree off the road. It happened right in front of me. The impact made such a loud boom, it sounded like God was bowling.

I hopped out of my car to help. I bandaged his forehead using all the gauze I had. He was as drunk as fish, his…

I know I'm supposed to want to see the world. They tell me to visit Paris or London before I die. Maybe I will. But I'm not saving up for a ticket any time soon.

I need a nap. Maybe it was the drive through Alabama that wore me out. The miles can do that to a man, even when he's only riding shotgun.

I always ride shotgun on these trips. My wife feels most at ease when her hands are on the wheel. She calls me Miss Daisy.

I pretend to hate that name.

Right now, the sun is shining through the truck windshield, burning my thighs. The scenery flying by the windows is stunning. Bright green fields. Lonesome barns. Red dirt roads. Tall pines that look like flagpoles.

I once spent a month in lower

Utah, where all the trees looked dead. The air there was dry enough to turn your face into beef jerky. I've never been so glad to arrive back on Southern soil.

When my plane touched down, the first thing I took pleasure in was our humidity, which saturates your drawers. Also, our local smells. An aroma which primarily consists of mold and sulfur—think old eggs and oyster stew.

I could live on that smell.

I know I'm supposed to want to see the world. They tell me to visit Paris or London before…

I guess what I'm trying to say is: right now, the entire universe is only a few seconds away from bursting into applause.

I love the sun. Any time of day, but especially morning. I also like paper plates—the flimsy kind that aren't stiff enough to hold a spoonful of potato salad. And barbecues. I like conversations at barbecues. Folks hardly ever talk about work, or bills. But about kids, sports, and how crazy Uncle John is.

He's nuts.

I'm crazy about pencils, rickety screen doors, old folks, quiet folks, loud folks, zinnias, and mobile homes. I like the sound of wind blowing through the woods—like the earth exhaling.

And coffee.

I once spent an entire summer in Georgia with relatives who drank decaf. Worst summer of my life. I didn't have the

personality God gave a houseplant.

And, I like yellow. As a boy, I preferred blue. But someone told me blue was depressing. So, I tried to like yellow. After several years, I can't get enough of it.

I like George Jones, Steel Magnolias, Delta Burke, and stories told by people with white hair. Girls who wear hunting boots. And boys who say, "Yes ma'am," to girls their own age.

I like tiny churches.

I once knew a pastor of a microscopic Baptist congregation—a factory-worker by day. He wouldn't accept a…

He bought it in high school, and it was the last glove he ever owned. Woven leather, dark brown, smelled like axle grease.

I've lost my father's old baseball mitt. I've looked everywhere, torn the house apart, dug through closets, the garage, the attic, dusty boxes.

If I weren't sentimental, this wouldn't be a problem, but I am. Objects that would't sell for a blessed dime at a yard sale mean the world to me.

Take, for instance, Granddaddy's union card—stamped on a piece of depression-era leather. Sometimes I carry it in my pocket, I don't know why. Or my wife's University of Alabama ball cap, which rides on my dashboard. The quilt Mother made me in first grade.

And Daddy's ball glove.

He bought it in high school, and it

was the last glove he ever owned. Woven leather, dark brown, smelled like axle grease. It was just an old faded thing, but it was among the only things I had left.

In my childhood, I saw that mitt every summer. We'd play catch until dark. When I got older, he threw harder. By age twelve, I had to wear a sponge beneath my glove to keep from fracturing my hand.

I don't know why I'm telling you this.

But it's more than his glove. The day after someone dies, you inherit…