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Jacob Hatcher

One Mississippi, two Mississippi 

By Jacob Hatcher  

Community columnist  

When I hear certain Don Williams songs, I’m transported back to Daddy’s truck on the way to a rodeo, and the first notes of “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” take me to a church in Tennessee watching my bride walk down the aisle.  

Just like those melodies, when the low bass notes of a thunderstorm rattles my windows, it’s summertime, and I’m with my uncle visiting family.  

I’m on a porch swing, looking out at the pasture, counting the seconds between claps of thunder; my sister’s sitting next to me, trying to convince me that the thunder I hear in the distance is just fireworks.  

The fact that I remember being scared of the storm makes me think I probably didn’t believe her. To be honest, I didn’t even remember she was there that day until I mentioned it recently.  

Memories are funny that way; they say hindsight is 20/20, but it’s really kind of fuzzy. While all that exists of that day in my mind is the storms, my sister mostly remembers watching Aunt Johnnie talk.  

She wasn’t much interested in what was being said; she just enjoyed watching Aunt Johnnie’s teeth fall down every time she opened her mouth.  

What’s especially funny about memories, though, is knowing I have been through countless thunderstorms, but at the first sound of thunder, that’s the day that comes to mind. I’ve had two very close calls with tornadoes, been mere feet away from a transformer when it was struck by lightning and cleaned up the wreckage of historic floods – but for some reason, that summer day on that long-gone porch swing always comes to mind.  

I like to think that means I remember more than I realize. I imagine one day I’ll have a vivid dream in which every little detail comes flooding back.  

They say your life flashes before your eyes right before you go; maybe when my time comes, I’ll see something from that day that had been hidden in the caverns of my mind.  

Until then, when the storms come rolling in, I’ll just start counting. One Mississippi, two Mississippi… 

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