Take a deep breath

It’s commonly good advice that applies in a plethora of situations: “Take a deep breath.”

Given the glut of pollen and mold in the air recently, it might be well-advised for allergy sufferers to take one with an inhaler close by, but on the other hand there are few people who appreciate deep breaths more than they.

For Margo Yates and all of the volunteers who came together to put on another successful Art in the Park, deep breaths held in were the rule as early forecasts threatened rain on Saturday. Another such deep breath came Saturday morning, hoping dense early fog didn’t wreak havoc with any of the wares set up the night before. Perhaps it was a collective exhale that cleared the mists to make way for a perfect day for crowds of eager shoppers and vendors alike. Everyone involved deserves a deep breath followed by a well-earned sigh of relief.

Then there’s that deep breath one takes before deciding to take a leap into a chilly pool, a raging fire, or a hornet’s nest of crazy. Breathe deep, ask “Do I really want to do this?”, and then take the leap, or not. Those are the deep breaths of considered action.

It looks as if those sort of breaths were in short supply in county commission chambers Monday, when last week’s words came back to haunt Randy Dallke.

What Dallke did last week was to commit one of the oldest management blunders in the book. In a well-intentioned attempt to take some heat off of county department heads who supposedly had trouble with a candidate for commission, Dallke used the broad brush stroke of “candidates” to call out the behavior and issue a plea to cease and desist. Evidently he didn’t want to name names. Perhaps a deep breath would have been in order at that point.

Why was that a problem? Because as commissioners found out Monday, the one individual the message is meant for doesn’t hear or doesn’t care, while the others who share the same category, in this case, candidates, mistakenly thought the message was directed at them.

Candidates Tom Britain and Dianne Novak showed up Monday to protest, and the exchange apparently would have benefited from a number of well-considered deep breaths.

Meanwhile, we’re all hoping for an Old Settlers’ Day weekend full of the deep breaths necessary to emit loud, joyous cheers; cheers for the Warriors in a homecoming football battle Friday against Remington, cheers throughout the parade, and cheers in the park for food, fun, and class reunions.

However, I’ll let you in on my favorite Old Settlers’ Day deep breaths. They’re the sharp, quick, frantic ones that happen when someone realizes they’ve made a serious miscalculation in the flight path of a raw egg hurtling toward them, and it’s too late to do anything about it.

We sure hope those folks are the only ones with eggs on their faces this weekend. And don’t expect me to take a deep breath now and hold it until then, even if you think my face would look great in varied shades of blue and purple.

— david colburn

Last modified Sept. 21, 2016

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