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.

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. Karen Greatrix - June 17, 2018 5:41 am

    Thank you for the daisies. When the news gets to much for me to deal with I turn the TV and computer off and make a hat or a scarf to keep someone warm.

  2. Janice Takashima - June 17, 2018 7:10 am

    Thank you, Sean. Even with brain freeze, the news is too much for me, too.

  3. Glenda H - June 17, 2018 7:17 am

    Oh Sean, we are simpaticato, love all of the same things you do, thanks for the daisies. What about Guy Clark, do you know his work? Check out youtube vid of “Old Friends” and “The Guitar”…..thinking you’ll enjoy!

  4. Winona Clark Colvard - June 17, 2018 11:47 am

    Thanks for the daises, Sean! On the way from my home on Whippoorwill Hill to Haleyville to see my eight-year old granddaughter’s baptism this morning. I’ll share the daises with her and the rest of the family!

  5. Marcia De Graaf - June 17, 2018 12:03 pm

    This is why I love your writings. While the media is yelling in our ears about everything that’s wrong with our country, you remind us every day of the simple things that are good and wholesome, the things we so often take for granted. Thank you for doing that.

  6. Shirley Northington (Skelton) - June 17, 2018 12:08 pm

    Thank you for the daisies.

  7. Jack Darnell - June 17, 2018 12:31 pm

    Thanks, I can use the flowers. I lost my last sibling this week! This is always a good place to refuel on things good and pleasant. Too bad the USA as a whole doesn’t read it.

  8. Connie - June 17, 2018 12:54 pm

    Loved this, and I feel exactly as you do about television ?. Your black and white picture comment made me think of a song I heard for the first time a few weeks ago. I was at a funeral, and while they showed pictures on a screen (many in black and white) they played “You Should Have Seen It In Color”…
    It’s incredibly nostalgic, you will love it! ?

  9. Marilyn - June 17, 2018 1:00 pm

    The flowers are beautiful! Thank you for them, and all your meaningful words. You set my morning’s off on the right foot.

  10. Julie Y - June 17, 2018 1:31 pm

    Wow, Connie, thank you for that song! What a great one for Father’s Day, for those of us missing our dads. And, Jack Darnell, I’m sorry for your loss. I only know you through your regular comments here, but … hugs.

  11. Dru - June 17, 2018 1:49 pm

    Elderly? Born in 1958? Did I understand correctly? ?‍♀️

  12. Kathy Andrews Young - June 17, 2018 2:40 pm

    Love this blog every day. I feel so much better after I read them. I love the way Sean weave good/not good into his story. And I try to read this first while the coffee maker calls me.

  13. Kelly Haddock - June 17, 2018 2:43 pm

    Amazing. You are so right. The media wants to focus on everything that is bad and terrifying and not on the good stuff. Thank you for this post!

  14. Edna B. - June 17, 2018 3:30 pm

    I love daisies! Thank you. I like dandelions too. I don’t watch the news very often. There’s not much nice stuff happening there. As for the programs, I watch a lot of old re-runs. The programs today are all filled with violence and nasty language. The nasty language is even creeping into a few of the game shows. So I don’t watch a lot of them either.

    Everyone here has pretty much made the same comment. We all come here for a dose of happy reality. You give us hope that there is still so much good in the world. We just have to stop and smell the daisies. My little Pogo sends you wishes for a great Father’s Day. He’s a tiny Yorkie. I’m sure though, that Thelma Lou has already given you big hugs and kisses for your special day. You have a good one, hugs, Edna B.

  15. Jeanette - June 17, 2018 5:18 pm

    I hardly watch the news anymore, and then it’s only the local channel. Too much gloom and doom! Love, love, LOVE your writing! So heartfelt and beautiful!

  16. Starr - June 17, 2018 7:33 pm

    Thank you for the daisies ! I needed them today !

  17. Martha T Long - June 17, 2018 9:08 pm

    My oldest daughter got married yesterday and 2 of her chosen songs were Don Williams’ songs. They also had their dog as the flower girl. I think you would have approved.

    • Debbie Shiflett - August 14, 2018 12:40 pm

      I’m so thankful your blog! Sharing your gift of words and your sweet Southern view of our world. I loved Don Williams too. He’s the only country singer I made sure I saw in a small concert venue in North Georgia when Amanda was a hit!
      I guess anything over 60 is elderly? I’m a 1953 girl, my mama is 93, that’s elderly! ?

  18. Helen - June 17, 2018 11:05 pm

    Thank you! I love daisies. 🙂

  19. Sue Cronkite - June 18, 2018 12:24 am

    She’s right. TV sucks. And, thanks for the daisies.

  20. Jack Quanstrum - June 18, 2018 1:51 am

    Thanks, back to ya!

  21. Kenneth Ray - June 18, 2018 2:00 am

    I Agree…T.V. Sucks….That’s why I read your column eery day I listen to Don Williams a lot more too.

  22. Jody - June 18, 2018 2:23 am

    Daisies are my favorite feel good flower. Thanks for the gift of words that come from a beautiful spirit. You and the daisies are day brightners

  23. Marty from Alabama - June 18, 2018 2:48 am

    Thanks for the daisies, another one of God’s treasures the He showers on us. And I loved today’s session. Your mother-in-law sounds like a real trip. I would love to slurp a milkshake with her, but I’ll take chocolate, please. Again, thanks for for your words. I’m late reading today’s issue. It was just as good as if I had read it in the AM.

  24. C.E. HARBIN - June 18, 2018 4:18 am

    I love daisies, too. I smiled all through your article.
    Thanks, Sean.

  25. Diane - June 18, 2018 11:55 pm

    Thanks they are my favorite ❤️

  26. Lynda - June 19, 2018 3:01 pm

    Thank you Sean, I needed those daisies this morning:-)

  27. Ellen Turvey - June 20, 2018 2:48 am

    Idiot box it is and I thought only northerners used that expression. Thanks for the daisies.

  28. Jane - August 14, 2018 8:27 am

    You got me with daisies and Don Williams. Not too much on TV anymore either except Jeopardy. Thank you for your writing.

  29. GigiBeth - August 14, 2018 3:48 pm

    I love daisies!

  30. Debbie - September 11, 2022 12:32 pm

    Daisies from 4 years ago and they’re still just as beautiful as the day you picked them. Thank you!


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