I receive a lot of questions in my email inbox. And I wish I could answer them all, but I can’t type very fast. So I have compiled a few common questions which I am answering here. Let’s get started:
Q: Your writings sometimes make me cry. Are you one of those sappy guys who cries all the time?
A: I never cry. Although my eyes perspire a lot.
Q: Are you a natural redhead?
A: Nobody has ever asked me this. So I called my mother to ask her. She said, “Well, the day you were born, the first thing the doctor said when he saw your head was, ‘Uh-oh, you know what they say about preachers and redheads.’”
However I never actually learned what they say about preachers and redheads.
Q: Why do you always feel the need to mention the pandemic in your writings lately? No offense, but it gets old. Move on.
A: Thanks for the question. May I ask where you live, because I think I would truly enjoy living on that planet too.
Q: Did you hear that Prince Harry has quit using social media because people were being so negative, and leaving hateful comments on all his accounts? He and his wife said it was wrecking their mental health. What’s wrong with our world?
A: You know what they say about redheads.
Q: Why are people being so mean these days? Do people ever send you ugly remarks?
A: Every day. But it got bad during the pandemic. Some comments really sting, too. Here are a few of the tamer remarks:
“What’s wrong with your head? It’s enormous. You look like a freak.”
“The problem is that any untrained [bad word] can become a writer these days… And you actually think people care about what you have to say. Shut up.”
“Everytime I see his face on my newsfeed I want to gag. And I’m just like, ‘Go away!’”
“It looks like his head was swallowed in hair, LOL!”
Q: So why do you keep writing if people are such meanies?
A: I will be honest, I am a sensitive wimp. I freely admit it, my feelings get hurt. There have been a few times when emails have gotten so ugly that I’ve considered dyeing my hair and going into the columnists protection program.
But then, inevitably, I will receive an email like this:
“I am 12 years old… I live in a foster home. My teacher told me to look at your writing because I don’t like to read and maybe I would read yours. I have all your books! And I told my teacher I want to be a writer like him. Do you think I should?”
Q: And that makes you feel better?
Q: How do you respond to the bad messages?
A: [cricket noises]
Q: Why don’t you write about your dogs as much anymore? I miss the latest installments about your dogs!
A: Well, mostly because I’m usually too busy walking my dogs through our neighborhood, wearing a plastic baggie over my right hand so that I can stoop to pick up their “latest installments.”
Q: I have read that you struggle with depression. Is that true?
A: Yes. I have gone back and forth since age 11. I didn’t have the greatest childhood. When I was a kid, I had a bleeding ulcer and a nervous stomach. After my father died, in a pretty dramatic way, I had post traumatic stress syndrome for many years, and my depressive tendencies have stuck with me.
Q: But that’s all over now?
A: Are you kidding? You don’t snap your fingers and get rid of depression. No more than you clap your hands and eradicate diabetes. You manage it. You have flare ups. This pandemic has been the pits.
Q: But, I don’t get it, you’re always writing about happy stuff.
Q: Hi, I am between ages 12 and 85, and I also have depression. What can I do?
A: My official advice? I have no freaking idea. Although here is one thing I’ve found that works: sunlight. LOTS of it. I am not kidding. I know it sounds utterly ridiculous, claiming that something as simple as sunshine will make a difference. But believe me, it will surprise you.
Q: I’m having a baby, and I’m afraid because it is a very stressful time to be having a child in a pandemic.
A: I don’t blame you. Hey, unless you’re living on Planet Zurkon, a pandemic ain’t easy.
But here’s something to cheer you up. Think about this. Some of the most exceptional human beings you will ever meet are those who grew up during the Great Depression. The depth of their character; their capacity for empathy; their understanding of human nature; their determination; and their love of family is profound.
Compared to these people, many of us are about as emotionally mature as a scoop of potato salad.
And the best part is, these elderly people ALWAYS tell you the same thing. They say that growing up during “hard times” made them better people.
Q: Are you serious about the sunlight thing?
A: Exposure to sunlight triggers an area of your retina to send a message to the brain to release a flood of mood-lifting chemicals and neurotransmitters like serotonin and sleep hormones like melatonin. It basically turns your brain into Woodstock, minus Jimi Hendrix and Joe Cocker.
So yes. I’m serious.
Q: Dear Mister Sean, I colored this piture for you cause my mom says you like it win kids write to you letters. This drawing is of you an me flying. Please write back if you have time. Love, Davy.
A: Dearest friend, I awoke having a bad day today. But then I received your letter. And now my eyes are seriously perspiring. Thank you.
Terri - January 20, 2021 6:27 am
I agree with the sunshine therapy. I also value fresh air and grounding with the earth. Walk barefoot in the grass or even better, throw a blanket on the ground and lay on the earth. Connect with and to nature! Also be kind, be thoughtful, be generous without expecting anything in return. Do it because it feels good … and it IS good. ☮️
Christina - January 20, 2021 7:19 am
Sometimes your writing makes my eyes perspire because it’s moving, other times I’m seriously cracking up…
Sarah Hunt - January 20, 2021 8:16 am
Sean Thank you so much for your stories and observations. I am from Texas and will gladly take on and kick ass of anyone that is mean to you! You are so right about nature and being outside for depression. I live in Portland Texas close to a small place called Sunset Lake where my dog and Rosco go. He is mostly Border Collie and some Mutt. I don’t care I love him dearly and always enjoy your stories about your dogs. A lot of your stories make me laugh and cry at the same time. In a way your writings are a bit of therapy. As I am writing there is big old casserole in my oven sausage, cabbage and a bunch of cheese on top inspired by your story about the potato cheese cornflake casserole .Yes I have had that casserole and it is awesome! The story you wrote about the lady that made it even better. Those folks are disappearing and God do we need them now ! Please Sir we need these lovely stories and memories and trips down memory lane. The world needs love and happy stuff and always dog stories. My name is Sarah Hunt I live in Portland Texas right across the bridge from Corpus Christi Texas and 20 minutes from Port Aransas. I am a realtor if you are interested in the area. That is not why I am writing. If you and Jamie are ever in this area I would love to take you to dinner. Also love your travel stories. My bucket list is Ireland. Thank you as Winston Churchill would say Never Surrender! Love Sarah Hunt
Mac - January 20, 2021 8:58 am
Currently living in Germany working for the Army at a hospital in Ramstein. We have had perhaps 2 sunny days in the past 6 weeks. The rest of the time it is gloomy, cold, rainy and yes, depressing. Can’t wait to get back to South Alabama sunshine!
KeithTurk@hotmail.com - January 20, 2021 9:01 am
I get all of it… Thanks for taking the time and making my world a little lighter
Shirley Lieberman - January 20, 2021 9:27 am
I read your blog first thing in the morning.
You are my morning sunshine.
Please keep writing and perspiring from your eyes. Tears heal.
steve acree - January 20, 2021 10:18 am
I wouldnt have wanted to go to Woodstock without Hendrix and Joe Cocker there. Btw I have never noticed you having a big head but the old saying is “big head big brain”
Keep up the great work, Sean. I guess I need to find one of your books.
Meredith Smith - January 20, 2021 10:47 am
Sean, You make me laugh. Thank you. Two things about this Q & A post: the (crickets); hahahahahahahahahahahaha, and your comment (not funny-serious here) ~ about sunlight. I am stuck in the house A LOT due to a medical condition and I literally don’t get out often for weeks at a time. Or more. I need to go for walks. When I can. It will lift my mood. I have been told this and have read this ~ about sunlight, but now hearing it from you seals the deal. From now on, on my good days, if it’s ☀️ sunny, I’m outta here!
James Stephens - January 20, 2021 11:00 am
I like Hendrix and Cocker!
elizabeth - January 20, 2021 11:40 am
Ok, I really don’t get the negative comments…your head is not too big, you don’t look like your head was swallowed with hair…that’s just nuts! People are crazy these days….keep writing please. We need you and your sunshine. thanks for the info about the sunshine too. At the beginning of this madness I started walking. I noticed that I just felt better afterwards. I now walk almost 2 hours every day. It has really been a God-send, that and your writing, my salvation. Thank you.
Ralph - January 20, 2021 11:41 am
I see it’s time for you to go fishing again. I’ll bring the root beer if you have a spare plastic bucket for me to sit on.
Kate Medina Writes - January 20, 2021 11:54 am
Sean – you are a beautifully honest human being, and we are all better for having read your words. Thank you for loving us through them.
TrixC - February 16, 2021 8:47 pm
joan moore - January 20, 2021 11:55 am
Thank you for your being a ray of sunshine and warm puppy sharer! May your day be filled with love and a good casserole!
Bill - January 20, 2021 12:10 pm
Sean, you always know how to say the right things at the right time…wish I had that gift, I always seem to put my foot, no both feet in my mouth at the wrong time. Thanks for being you….
Paul S Gawrych - January 20, 2021 12:29 pm
Moved by every response and I loved the “cricket sounds”. Enjoy the sunshine today!
Ken M, from Mt. Juliet, TN - January 20, 2021 12:32 pm
Sean… wonderful as always. I can support that Sunshine Therapy 100%. Everyone around me knows that I am Solar Charged and I get moody after a few days with no sunlight. Even just looking out the window and seeing sunlight lifts my spirits and my soul. Around our house, it’s not uncommon to hear “sun’s out” yelled from somewhere else in the home!! Keep doing, and being YOU… and Roll Tide.
Kate - January 20, 2021 12:40 pm
Yesterday I read your article about the potato casserole and this morning when I woke up I thought about that and about you and why your articles are so special. Then I decided it is in part that you write about good things, people who are kind, people who are “ordinary” but very special in the extraordinary things they do for others. You help remind us of good memories of things that include love and kindness to others. This morning I thought about my Aunt Selma, the oldest girl of my mother’s 14 siblings. She was amazing – kind (that word again) a rock, humble, a servant’s heart – always doing for others. She was simply amazing, living in a tiny place called Brooklet, Georgia after she married. I do not think I ever heard an unkind or critical word come out of her mouth and she did not have an easy life. She was born about 1906 and lived until she was 91. So Sean, I cannot imagine anyone saying ugly or critical things about you. Thank you for reminding us of all the wonderful memories and things we have experienced throughout our lives and all the wonderful people we have encountered. Somehow we tend to forget but you help us remember through your writings. I agree with Sara Hunt. I wish everyone could find you, I am happy I did.
Leigh Amiot - January 20, 2021 12:59 pm
It’s good for what ails ye!
Got to enjoy some sunshine yesterday in southern Georgia, then a brisk walk. Exercise helps chase away the stir crazy which accompanies pandemic social distancing.
Jan - January 20, 2021 1:16 pm
Sunshine and your column are what gets me through many a day. I especially love that you write about things that matter – people, love and sunshine, just to name a few. A welcome respite from the life of an adult during a pandemic and an election with a resulting change in power in our country …
You are loved!!!
Xan - January 20, 2021 1:21 pm
Have you ever noticed how everyone tries to write like you when they leave a comment? PS I Love Jimi Hendrix and Joe Cocker! PPS come to Union Springs and see our murals. We have a gorgeous one of Hank Williams, one of Eddie Kendricks who is a native son, and a couple of others. http://www.unionspringsalabams.com/murals.html . We’re a great day trip from you. Or better yet, come next month, February 18 – 21, and see Jason Petty perform his show, Hank Williams: The Lonesome Tour. PPPS bring Jamie and your fur babies too.
Bob E - January 20, 2021 1:40 pm
Davy and Sean soaring.
Quite a sight.
Anne - January 20, 2021 2:08 pm
“Think about this. Some of the most exceptional human beings you will ever meet are those who grew up during the Great Depression. The depth of their character; their capacity for empathy; their understanding of human nature; their determination; and their love of family is profound.” You just described my mama and daddy.
Carter Anthony - January 20, 2021 2:19 pm
“…their latest installments…”. Walking through the neighborhood with my dogs I have to do the same thing. One, a Lab, the other a Coton, Mutt and Jeff, they’re always going in a different direction. I’ve always called their “installments” a “deposit” but from their position they might should be called “ withdrawals”.
Charlie Mathers - January 20, 2021 2:21 pm
Dear Sean, at last I have found someone else who understands the power of sun light. Every day the sun shines, I sit in it for at least 15 minutes. When I can get away with it, I sit naked in the sun, but at least shirtless. My dog, Buddy, reminds me to sit in the sun if I accidentally fall asleep and don’t go out by 2:00 pm. He’s naked too. Lucky dog!
You are on target with that depression thing too. I fight mine by reading your remarks first thing every morning. I hope nothing happens to you or the sun. Without you and the sun, I’d be a gonner for sure.
I love you, Sean! Buddy likes you a lot too.
Katrina - January 20, 2021 2:32 pm
We’ve never met, so this might come as a surprise to you. But you are my best friend right now.
Gail Bohlman - January 20, 2021 2:38 pm
My pastor says “Hurting people hurt others”. Not sure that helps offset the cruel comments. Maybe they need a little more sunshine. Keep your sunshine coming our way. Thank you!
Becky Comer - January 20, 2021 2:49 pm
Sean, please don’t allow the means spirited folks get you down. You have plenty of us that truly love you as a person and as a excellent writer. We all have our ups and downs and it helps knowing you matter to our daily lives. My husband and I saw you in Milton back in December2019 and watched your virtual show there last month. We read your daily posts on your blog as well as your books. We are true fans of yours and almost neighbors (reside in Crestview). Hope this new year will bring better days to us all. God bless you and your family!
sonlitsoul - January 20, 2021 2:49 pm
Sean – Keep doing what you do! The world needs more minds like yours. Haters gonna hate, Trolls gonna troll. Let them. Their misery isn’t about you. Keep dancing in the sun, my friend, keep dancing!! Sunny Fan in Charlotte NC
KATY @10:18 am - January 20, 2021 3:18 pm
💖Sean, please know that you are God’s blessed gift to us each day!💚 We are so grateful for your writing that shows us the best we can be while sharing your heart full of hope and love!💕
Beau McLarty - January 20, 2021 3:27 pm
Sean, good job! Keep at it. Not everyone had parents teach them good manners. Not everyone had folks tell them, ‘If you cannot say something nice, please be quiet.’. I like your writing Thank you.
tombeaux - January 20, 2021 3:45 pm
Thank you! Really enjoyed the Q & A.
Norma Napoleone - January 20, 2021 3:48 pm
Dear Sean I just celebrated my 73rd birthday. I read you just about every am. You are as essential as my cup of coffee.
You have inspired me to do something I have wanted to do for years. I wrote and completed a story for my grandchildren about my beloved grandmother and her incredible brave life. It is not the great American biography. I don’t know if my grandkids will like it, be encouraged or inspired or even read it. I did it !
Anne lived to be 90, bore 10 children , buried 3. Buried 2 husbands. Was expelled from school in first grade because of epilepsy (possessed by the devil)and was illiterate for her whole life. Forceably married at age 16 to a man 32. Lived thru two world wars, the Great Depression, two explosions that effected her parents and siblings, had and lost her own business as a laundress, nursed neighbors thru the Spanish flu pandemic and survived breast cancer. When she died at age 90 she had 7 living children , 32 grandchildren, 70 great grandchildren. and 6 great great grandchildren.
Mary Lou - January 20, 2021 4:00 pm
Sean, I’m just one person and no one special. I never did anything important or dramatic. Never changed the world or made much of a difference. But I have your books and look forward to your columns everyday. My heart hurts that people send you mean and thoughtless comments. I could tell you to ignore them, but you wouldn’t. I know. At least try to put them into context. I once had a friend who told me some people can only feel good about themselves by making other people feel bad. Now, that’s a sad soul I feel sorry for. You make a great difference to a lot of people, and we appreciate and love you for it. I hope today and everyday, your eyes only perspire from looking at something beautiful that makes your heart happy. Thank you for making mine happy.
Sandy - January 20, 2021 4:20 pm
I hate it that people are so mean to you and others. But I love how you deal with it and that others learn, through you, how to deal with it. So, keep on truckin’! (I thought you would like that flash from the past.)
Helen De Prima - January 20, 2021 4:42 pm
Sunlight and being in the woods. Or by the ocean or a lake or even a swamp. I believe our bodies crave returning to a watery environment.
Linda Moon - January 20, 2021 6:51 pm
I don’t need to move to another planet. I’ll stay grounded on Earth except for when I’m in water….swimming or just floating on that good River to be on. Three redheads resemble each other: Harry, David, and you. I know two of them personally, and they are royalty to me. Prince Harry is not kin, but his grandmother, The Queen, bears an uncanny resemblance to my David’s great-grandmother. So maybe there’s some kinship somewhere. Your 2,345,560 words you’ve written, dearest Sean, ALWAYS make me a better person. REPEAT: Always.
Vicki - January 20, 2021 7:53 pm
Thank you for what you said about sunlight and depression. I struggle as well and I know I need to get outside more. I truly appreciate your sensitivity and your wonderful stories about real life stuff. My eyes definitely perspire sometimes when I read your posts, and I also enjoy your down home sense of humor. I have never understood why people feel the need to be so mean to someone online. If they don’t like you or your writing, why don’t they just quit reading your stories or following you on social media? I just discovered you recently after someone I follow on IG shared one of your stories, and now your emails are one of the bright spots in my day. We need more sensitive people in this world who care about others, never apologize for that. Keep up the good work, and all my best to you and your wife in 2021.
Theresa Collins - January 20, 2021 8:32 pm
I LOVE YOUR WRITING AND I DO NOT KNOW YOUR MOTHER SO SHE DID NOT PUT ME UP TO THIS. KEEP WRITING BECASUE YOU MAKE ALOT OF PEOPLE HAPPY. HOPE YOU HAVE A GOOD DAY,
LOVE YOU LOTS
Peggy - January 20, 2021 8:58 pm
Please continue to write. Reading your stories is like sunshine on a rainy day for me.
elizabethroosje - January 20, 2021 10:18 pm
Sean, like so many of your readers, if I miss a post because I am out (like Monday of this week) I am sure to catch up and look for your blog in my feedly reader FIRST. I am so sorry people send you such unkind emails. I think a lot of people are depressed and they lash out at others 🙁 the whole ‘hurt people hurt people’ phenomenon. Your posts bless me all the time!!! And I agree about sunshine – and walking vigorously, both help me a lot! God bless you AND Jamie!!!
Jane - January 20, 2021 10:27 pm
Sean….may all your days have sunshine.
Debbie g - January 20, 2021 11:24 pm
Sean keep on being Sean. Someone we all love !!!! Thank you from all of us we need you !!
Deborah L Blount - January 21, 2021 12:06 am
My eyes are perspiring too. Thank you.
Kathy - January 21, 2021 12:37 am
If people don’t like your writing, I can tell them to not read it. As for the crude comments about you, they are sad, sad people. As a friend of a friend (Steve Lathem), I think you’re terrific.
Timothy McMahon - January 21, 2021 12:47 am
Dear Sean – please keep writing. It makes me smile, it makes me reflect and it makes me a little bit better each day. You’re a gifted writer and I’m so grateful I discovered you. Thank you very much.
Sally Reeves - January 21, 2021 1:05 am
Yep, the sunshine helps and getting outdoors! Write on!
Cheryl - January 21, 2021 4:35 am
My greatest wish for you Sean is for no bad days.
shadrickj - January 21, 2021 1:00 pm
During two of my favorite movies (Steel Magnolias and O, Brother Where Art Thou?) I found myself laughing and crying at the same time. Your posts sometimes have that same effect on me. I look forward to them and truly appreciate all that you share with your readers. I love you, too!
Evelyn - January 21, 2021 3:53 pm
I think it’s a lot of people out there then – that can’t feel good without trying to make others feel bad . Do you ever read comments to political articles on internet websites?
Martha Young - January 21, 2021 5:01 pm
I was born during the Depression. I am sure I was not a welcome surprise but I had a very happy childhood. Never knew we were poor.
brennie143 - January 21, 2021 5:27 pm
I absolutely love your daily delivery of happiness! It makes my day! While we drink our morning coffee my husband expresses his displeasure on the latest news. Me? I read him your blog and we both laugh out loud! (Notice I actually spelled that out instead of Lol – shows my age.) I feel sorry for the people who feel the need to type up negative responses, they obviously have issues we don’t understand. As my mother always said, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”. Hence, the crickets.
Sandra Jones - January 21, 2021 9:43 pm
Do not stop writing…… It betters the world. Thank You
Linda Gray - January 25, 2021 2:29 am
Dear Sean, I care about you and what you have to say. I look forward to your blog posts every day. I wish you would do a you tube post every day <3
Allen PhDude - January 25, 2021 6:09 am
Don’t listen to ’em. Your head is perfectly proportional to your body. I’ve seen it live. You don’t look like one of those huge head caricatures, that’s just ridiculous.
Don’t dye your hair. Gingers are a rare and special breed. I’ve aged out, and mine is mostly grey, so you have to take up the slack.
As to the folks who write to complain? It’s like Old Oscar Wilde said: “The only thing worse than being talked about is NOT being talked about.”
I still use your work to teach Creative Non-Fiction to my Creative Writing kids and the Memoir to my Comp 101 kids. Keep on keepin’ on, brother. I miss you and Jamie.
Strawberry Blonde Julie - February 5, 2021 2:34 pm
My dear Mother never tired of telling me “On the day you were born, the first thing the doctor said when he saw your head was, ‘Mrs. B, you have a beautiful Strawberry Blonde!’” Soon after, when my Dad found out that he got his girl, after two red headed boys…well, that was the day he went Over the Moon!
Don’t change a thing, Sean…and may God continue to Bless your own Beautiful Red Head!! There’s a reason why everyday of your life, people compliment our hair color! And for those who really know you…WE LOVE YOU❣️
John DeLoach - February 16, 2021 4:05 am
Sean, Ha, my son has a beard like yours. I love it. If he ever shaved it, it’s back again in a couple weeks. I never seen a beard grow so fast.
Nita Risher McGlawn - February 16, 2021 1:09 pm
Have you ever had Cajun potato salad? It matures rapidly when put in a hot bow of gumbo.
Sam Seetin - February 16, 2021 11:16 pm
Sean, Your red hair came from a Viking Heritage. You are kin to The Duke of Normandy who broke King Harold’s shield at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. He became the King of England. You are also related to Mother Seton, the first American Saint. This is where your acquired your red hair, warrior ethos tempered by a sensitive and a forgiving nature. LeBoudin, Uncle Sam
Deanna :) - February 16, 2021 11:32 pm
We need you! I just found your articles and started following you on Facebook. I look for your article everyday.
God made you to write and to share it with others! Keep the faith and keep doing what you are doing! 🙂
The world needs more Seans!