February seems to come quicker every year


This month — especially next week — has several things going on. Tuesday is Mardi Gras. Where is this year going so fast?

Tuesday is also my niece’s 11th birthday. How did she get there so quickly?

Wednesday is Valentine’s Day. Did I mention how fast this year is going? Mercy.

OK, I’ve had enough king cake already this year to say I had my fill. But really, can you ever have “enough” king cake? I don’t think so. We’ve even shared some Mardi Gras King Cake coffee from 

Community. Oh, yes. 

We’ve bought gifts for the niece and already exclaimed to her how much she’s growing. I also confessed I mistakenly thought she was turning 12. I’m aging her even faster. 

Candy and stuffage has been purchased, ordered and tucked away for Valentine’s Day for my wife and kiddos. Heart Day plans are to take part in our church’s banquet this coming Sunday evening and then watch the movie that has become our annual Val Day tradition: “American Sniper.” 

Don’t ask.

February is National Haiku Writing Month. Haven’t heard of it? Well, this is only the second annual occurrence, so no worries. A haiku is a Japanese poem in three lines divided by syllables — five, seven, five. Here is a masterful example:

Valentine Haiku:

American Sniper time — 

Let us watch it now.

Yes, you may applaud in the privacy of your own homes. Thank you, thank you.

It’s also Black History Month, National Adopt a Rabbit Month and National Grapefruit Month. I can do without grapefruit, and I can’t adopt an animal right now. Let’s focus on the other one — Black History.

Did you know that the first black senator in United States history was elected from Mississippi? Rev. Hiram Rhodes Revels moved to Natchez in 1866 to become pastor of the American Methodist Episcopal Church there. After leading a prayer in the state senate, so many of the elected officials present were so impressed with Revels that 81 of the 96 state senators voted to send him to Washington as senator for the state — that’s the way senators were elected then. 

On Feb. 25, 1870, the 48 Republicans in the national senate voted to accept Revels as a colleague, and the eight Democrats voted against him … and Revels was seated in the U.S. Senate in the seat vacat

ed by Jefferson Davis. Sen. Charles Sumner (R-Mass.) stated, “All men are created equal, says the great Declaration, and now a great act attests this verity. Today we make the Declaration a reality.”

The prophet Moses recorded in the biblical book of Genesis that “God created man in his own image” (1:26-27). That means that no matter what language a human speaks (or doesn’t speak) or the pigmentation of their skin, each person is of equal worth. My parents taught me, in fact, that although every person was valuable and equal in value, that I should treat others as if they were worth more than me — not devaluing myself, but honoring others with the way I treat them. 

It has never made any sense to me why I should act differently toward someone because of their appearance. Shame on me if I ever do.

I won’t lie and say I don’t see color. I’m not color blind. I’m an artist and I love colors. We’re all shades of brown, anyway. So here’s another haiku:

My skin is not me.

Scars, freckles and rough patches.

See my heart, see me.

Have a great week and love your neighbor. They don’t deserve it. That’s what makes it so special.



Annie Mae Lewis Vance, 89, passed away on Mother’s Day, May 13, 2018, at Rosemont Assisted... READ MORE