Tuesday, May 28, 2013

When I Saw Him Standin' There

In our various travels this weekend, Rick and I stopped to get gas.  The vehicle we started to pull in behind suddenly began backing out. 

"What's going on with that guy?" I said without thinking.

"The car ahead of him probably isn't done yet, and he doesn't feel like waiting," my patient husband replied.  In a few moments, he slid our Prius into the spot at the pump formerly held by the aforementioned Rogue Van. 

As Rick was pumping gas, I watched the lackadaisical SUV driver ahead of us.  He looked foreign, maybe Mediterranean or Slavic.  His clothes were a rumple of two shirts, dark pants, and slip-on sandals and socks.  He had hair falling into his eyes, and in his mouth was an unlit cigarette.  Done fueling, he simply stood at the rear of the car, doing I knew not what.

Pretty soon he wandered away, probably to have that cigarette, leaving his gassed up car parked at the pump.  In a few moments, a back passenger door opened.  Tumbling out as if he had been ejected or had fallen, a boy of about eleven or twelve appeared.  He was wearing a teeshirt and nylon basketball-type shorts, and his hair was moppy and Early Bieber-esque.  He was extremely chubby everywhere, and as he stood there, he scratched his considerable stomach, stretched, and then continued to merely stand there, shielding his eyes a bit from the sun, now and then jerking his head so as to flip the hair from his face.  A woman's voice called out something from the car, and he said, "But it's so hot in there.  And I'm tired."  Another admonition from the car.  It was ignored, and the man was nowhere in sight.  The boy stood there some more.

Rick finished up and got in the car.  As he did so, the boy turned around, and I got a glimpse of his teeshirt's slogan.  How good is this?

via www.spreadshirt.com
post header image via http://zenseeker.net

Monday, May 20, 2013

Patience Is A Virtue, Or Good Things Come To Those Who Wait And Price To Sell

The sun was shining, the breeze wafted the scent of lilies-of-the-valley, and there was no threat of rain.  Birds of all feather sang in the trees, and every now and then we could look out the back door and see a mallard or two gliding by on the serene lake's surface.

My brother and I felt energized.  We had gotten all the tables out in record time.  Not a single item had been damaged in the storage shed over the winter; everything fit on the tabletops, and there was enough new inventory to freshen up the usual offerings that had seen several sales.  We voiced and affirmed our Goals:  This was The Year, I said.  It would be sold This Year.

At nine o'clock the gates opened and a steady stream of cars began driving through the lake community.  Here and there, an Amish buggy clattered by.  We chatted with customers, marveled at the lovely weather, joked about this and that, and did our best to encourage sales.  Suddenly, a woman returned after having had a conversation with me about my breadmaker (marked down from $15 last year to $10 this year!).  She said her husband wanted it.  I walked with her to the table and helped lift it and take it to her car.

As I returned to the table, a young Amish woman was paying my brother.  He glanced up at me with a careful smile, a very, very restrained grin, for in her arms rested...


It was all I could do to control my urge to break into a simultaneous peformance of the Halleluia Chorus and an interpretive dance demonstrating my extreme elation and relief, which would have looked something like a fist-pumping, twirling, leg-kicking, spasming victim of St. Vitus' Dance trying to escape a swarm of hornets. 

She looked smug and thrilled at her five-dollar bargain and walked hurriedly away, my her punch bowl cradled in front of her like a precious baby.  As if I would stop her!  HA!

Two other Lifer Items were sold quickly after that:  the Ghostbusters sleeping bag and a set of drapes and bedskirt, both of which had been in at least 5 sales.  (Never underestimate Blowout Pricing.)

I knew you'd all want to share in My Victory.  It's a Dream Come True!

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

In Which I Present A New Poet, Envy My Hair Products, And Write Such A Lot Of Stuff

Did you ever have the sensation that nothing was happening in your life, yet you were very, very busy?  I'm feeling that way lately, and I have to tell you, it's all very odd.  Of course, these days, if I have anything to do, it seems like a big deal.

While I have a moment in my Big Honking Schedule, I thought I'd share a few Cranial Crumbs and tidy the space up a bit.

---|Google Is So Deep.  Sometimes, when I'm doing a little research, Google likes to wax poetic in order to give me some perspective and some spontaneous poetry.  For example, I was searching for something which began with the word "white." I got as far as wh, and Google began a poetry slam (punctuation is mine; line break is all Google):

white pages,
where's my refund?
what's the word,
white pages Ohio?

Wow.  This really identifies the urban angst that is Out There, in The Mean Streets.  Google really gets it.

I admit it.  I like to nudge Google and make my research queries in the form of a question.  I got this far in my most recent query and Google took it away:  "Why are m-":

why are manhole covers round?
why are my boobs sore?
why are my hands always cold?
why are my cookies always flat?

Why, indeed.

---|Kickoff!  I don't give a damn about football of any kind, but I got very excited about the Cleveland Browns first draft pick this year.  Why?  Only because he has the Best Name Ever.  BARKEVIOUS MINGO.  Oh, yes, say it over and over again.  How fantastic of a name is that?  I heard that name over a year ago and made a Solemn Vow to someday name something BarkeviousMingo, all together like that, because it is a kickass name.  He goes by a wimp-out nickname, KeKe, but not in this house.  He will always be BARKEVIOUS MINGO at the Dept.  The Browns did a great job in the Name Department.  They also drafted a Leon, a Jamoris, and an Armonty.  Nice work.

---|I'm Organic, At Least.  It occurred to me the other day that I would love to be my shampoo.  You probably would, too.  Just read the label.  I really want to be a "sensual and alluring blend."  Don't you want to "have great body and sparkle"?  Wouldn't you like to hear someone tell you that being with you is "rejuvenating"?  I sure would. 

---|'Tis The Season.  Friday was my birthday, and one of my best gifts was the weather.  I actually wore flipflops out in my yard and was able to garden.  Naturally, that is the only time I wear flipflops.  Sadly, I know that A) most teens have been wearing flipflops for months now, and B) most people wear flipflops to weddings, restaurants, funerals, and other public places.  I think my Original Point was, however, that the weather was warm enough that I could both garden and wear summer shoes.  Sigh.

---|Animal House.  Finally, just some general silliness.  Since Rick and I got rid of cable, we're forced to talk to one another more often.

Nance:  Where are you going?
Rick:  I'm gonna go change before dinner and before I jump in the shower.  I just feel gross.
Nance:  Into what?
Rick:  Huh?
Nance:  What are you going to change into?
Rick:  An elephant.
Nance:  What kind of elephant?
Rick:  A baby one.
Nance:  Oh, good.  How cute.
(Later, after dinner, Rick gets up.)
Rick:  Okay.  I'm gonna go grab that shower.
Nance:  Why not just use your trunk?

Go ahead.  Google that.

post header image found here

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Two Weeks

Northeast Ohio has finally decided to join the rest of the World and welcome Spring into its cold, frosty bosom.  The windows are open to the warming breezes here at the Dept., and I finally allowed Rick to put the snow shovels back into the garage until October when they will be needed once more.  I've used fresh-cut chives more than a couple of times, we have a fine, fine crop of weeds in the pea gravel between the flagstones in the back garden, and the pondfish are swimming around a little less lethargically.

It's about damn time.

On my various errands--many chauffering St. Patsy to her various Medical Necessaries--I am often enthralled by the many glorious flowering trees so many people are privileged to have in their yards.  One oft-travelled route takes me past no less than five towering tulip trees in full bloom, their spent pink and white petals creating a pastel coverlet on the new grass beneath them.  They are incredible. On that same drive is a bonfire of forsythia at the entrance of a pine forest.  It looks as if a half-dozen bushes grew together unfettered by boundaries both upward and beyond.  Blossoming trees froth with pink like bubbles on a strawberry soda, while the terraced elegance of rare dogwoods look serene and aloof. 

When I was a kid, we had a big, gnarled, knotty apple tree in our backyard.  Its branches spread far and wide, and it blossomed heavily every other year.  My father loved that tree.  Every single one of us was photographed up in that tree, from newborn to college.  Grandkids were, too, the ones who were around while Dad was alive.  The apple tree produced a ton of apples, too, but the bugs and birds always got to them before any one of us could.  "Honey, you ought to get some spray and spray that tree," my mom used to say.  My father would look at her like she had told him he should cut the tree down.  He couldn't imagine spraying any sort of pesticide on his tree.  He figured it was perfect the way that it was.  It wasn't there for the apples, anyway.  It was there for its beauty.

When I got a house of my own, I wanted a few things in my yard.  One, I wanted a lilac bush.  Two, I wanted rose bushes.  Three, I wanted a flowering tree.  My lilac bush got a powdery mildew or fungus or something, and little by little, no matter what we did for it, it kept dying back.  My rose bushes just never did well, either, and even my father, The Rose Doctor himself, couldn't get the soil right for them.  And the flowering tree? 

We had two huge silver maple trees on our teeny tiny lot when we first moved here.  One--which we had removed--was pretty much right in front of half of the garage.  The other was in front of our house, on the curb lawn (which I had always called a tree lawn).  There was no space anywhere for a flowering tree.  Many years later, when we redid our backyard, taking out all the grass and landscaping it into a back garden, I told our landscaper that I wanted a flowering tree someplace in the scheme.  "Can't do it,"  Marv said.  "They get too big.  Besides, the only place you have to put one, really, is too close to the pond.  They drop stuff.  Clog up the skimmer.  Make a huge mess."

I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  I appealed to Rick, who pressed the case to Marv again.  But it was true.  There wasn't any place for a flowering tree.  "Everyone gets all excited and jazzed up about flowering trees," groused Marv.  "It only lasts two weeks. Two weeks.  Then what? Just a tree.  No one thinks about that."

He's right.  No one thinks about the other fifty weeks because they're too busy glorying in those two weeks.  Two weeks of unabashed beauty.  Two weeks of affirmation that yes, winter is not going to last forever, that spring is coming after all.  Two weeks of hope.  Two weeks of remembering that the world has lovely things to share.  Two weeks of appreciating Nature's gifts after a dark and cold winter.  Two weeks of knowing that something simple can still have the power to awe you.  A wonderful two weeks that make me smile, appreciate, and remember.

I miss my father every day although he is with me always.
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