Monday, January 31, 2011

Hammock Day

This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

We are now at day 21 of the 140 day legislative session. Unlike state employees, our constitution does not contemplate weekends and holidays when it decrees that this august body convene for 140 days. Each new state holiday we add to the calendar subtracts a day from the work schedule. And, this early in the session the weekends are actually used for down time - getting away from the office and issues. It won’t be long until a weekend is just the “timeout” period you get to catch up. Then, alas, weekends will be just another work day.

Generally, the first 60 days of a legislative session are designed to be rather slow. It is the time when committees are formed and legislation is referred. Only measures designated by the Governor as an “emergency” are eligible to be considered in the first 60 days. The Senate came out of the gate running when the Governor declared voter I.D. an emergency and has already passed a bill and sent it over to the House. On the House side, we are waiting for committee assignments (expected this week) so that we can begin to look at that issue and others. To date 1,371 bills have been filed - a mere drop in the bucket to the 6,190 bills filed last session, but there is still plenty of time for more to come.

However, this weekend I was not thinking about the goings on at the Legislature. I didn’t dwell on how large my “to read” pile has become or think about either the defensive or offensive positions to take on policy issues. Sunday was one of those rare days in Central Texas where the Lord sandwiches a delightful “hammock” day right in between two cold fronts. Not wishing to miss the opportunity, I hung my hammock out under the oak trees, grabbed a good book and a glass of iced tea, and along with the basset hound happily stretched out beneath me, proceeded to take a nap. It was the best hour of my week.

The weather forecast has temperatures dropping into the twenties this week. My glorious hammock day will be only a memory as I once again pull out my longjohns and winter coat and get back to the drudgery of session.

Ah, but what a memory!

Lord, thank you for the reminder that we are to rejoice and be glad in each day you give us. Amen.

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