Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal


Jackie K. Cooper

I have always been a person who believes in anticipation. From my earliest years I had to have something to look forward to. It might be something simple or it might be something big, but I liked having something joyful happening in the future.

My concepts of enjoyment of life have changed some since those early days, but I know people who still look to tomorrow to bring happiness, and never concentrate on the todays. Just like Annie sang about the sun coming out tomorrow, some people live for the happiness of the future. The problem with that is overlooking the joys of now.

I think about that in conjunction with my present life. I think I am living in that future I always anticipated. A lot of times when I was a pre-teen and even teenager I would say things that began, “When I grow up” or “When I am on my own.” Well, I am there now.

When I entered the workforce I talked about what I would do when I retired. Guess what? I am retired. Now I do just what I want to do and when I want to do it. There is no dreaming of what will happen in the future. The future is now.

One of the things I used to dream of was having a “Dallas”-like home. By that I mean having one son and his family live in one wing of my house and the other son and his family living in the other. If it was good enough for Bobby and JR, it was good enough for me.

Well, I didn’t end up with a “Dallas” living arrangement, but I did get my youngest son and his family living in the same town with me. His kids are as comfortable and at ease in my house as they are in their own. I see them just about every day as we go to the same church, eat together a few times a week, and visit together at other times.

All my dreams have come true. I relish my past, enjoy my present and appreciate my future which I hope is more of the same. How fortunate can you be? It is like I designed it all and it just fell into place.

I am just glad I recognized that we sometimes reach our tomorrows. They don’t always stay stuck in a future time warp. I would hate to have gone through the rest of my life dreaming of all those golden tomorrows and thereby missing all the wonders of today.

All of my days are golden time and it is in the present. The sun is out and shining and I don’t have to be assured the sun will come out tomorrow. You can stop that song, Annie, as tomorrow is here.


Jackie K. Cooper was born in South Carolina and now lives in Georgia. His short stories have been used as commentary on Georgia Public Radio. He also keeps active appearing as an after dinner speaker for various events. Cooper has four books: Journey of a Gentle Southern Man, Chances and Choices, Halfway Home, and The Bookbinder.

Visit his website, or email Jackie.

© Jackie K. Cooper

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2009