Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring Will Come

I know I am jumping the gun, but it just does not seem right
that we have to wait.  We do have to wait, though.  All good
things come in due time.  Patience.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pretty Little Liar

Fourteen-year-old Rosie was perhaps an inch taller than I.  It would be yet several months before the growth spurt that would put me over six foot three.  The first time I saw Rosie walk past the concession stand, my head spun around, and it was still spinning  five days later when camp was over for the year.  She may or may not have been the most beautiful creature I had ever seen, but she was without doubt the most intriguing.

Rosie wore her auburn hair in two long plaits.  I knew just how long from just one glimpse, for after she braided her hair, she coiled it and pinned it atop her head, which of course made her seem even taller than she actually was.  It was my day to work as camp messenger.  Just before lights out the camp counselor handed me an envelope and told me to deliver it pronto to Cabin C.  That was Rosie’s cabin!  Well, Rosie’s and seven other girls, but they didn’t matter.  

I knocked on the door.  One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, four Missi--  the door swung open and there stood Rosie in a robe, hairbrush in her right hand and her hair hanging free.  There is no doubt that she could sit on her hair if she chose to do so.  I mean, oh, man!  I did not sleep for thirty hours.

So just how did Rosie lie to me?  Let me count the ways.  One, she told me I was “cute.”  I was too inexperienced at fourteen to understand the real meaning of the expression in girl language.  Two, she told me she would write back when I wrote to her.  I wrote, she didn’t.  Three, she told me she would “never forget me.”  On second thought, that may have been the truth, for she did call out to me just now, didn’t she?

We reminisced a bit, caught up a bit with talk of spouses, and children and grandchildren, and so forth.  I ribbed her about her dishonesty with me, all in good fun, because what did it matter now?  “Oh,” she exclaimed, “I am a very deceitful person.  I try to be truthful in word, but in deed it is a different story.”  Here she reached up, twisted the hair arrangement a bit, and removed her hairpiece from her head.  Bald.  Totally bald.

Then and only then did she tell me about the cancer, the chemo, the prognosis.

I cried.

She swatted my arm with her magazine.  “Go on.  Get outta here.  You always were a sentimental old fool, even when you were a kid.”

©2015 David W. Lacy

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Rosie in the Attic

Climbed the ladder, pushed back the hatch and crawled into the attic again.  As I turned to my left, I bumped my noggin on a rafter.  I looked up, of course, to cast a scowl at the offending timber.  My eye fell on the five letters crudely cut into the wood, “ROSIE.”  “Oh, wow," I thought.  "How old was I when I carved that there?  Fourteen."

The summer I turned fourteen Rosie came up from Iowa for summer camp.  No, let’s not go there; shake it off.  I am walking along a sidewalk in a shaded residential area, a northern suburb of my mind.  Curiously the houses are of the cookie-cutter variety, remarkably similar in architecture and construction.  They are all single-story affairs, all with a front porch, roof cantilevered from the main structure and supported in front by two cylindrical pillars.  Twelve- to sixteen hundred square feet living space, I am guessing.  

Interesting is the fact that every house is painted a pastel shade, blue, yellow, green, aqua, orange, nothing glaring, tastefully selected colors, not a white one on the block.  I start to whistle  as I stroll, “In the corner of my mind stands a jukebox. . .”  Wait a minute.  I see no jukebox; just this row of homey little houses.

I am in front of a residence now which is a muted magenta/pink in color, pastel rose, in fact.  As I am reaching down for the low note. the elderly lady sitting in a rocker on her porch speaks.  “Hey, Red.”  I turn and look behind me to see who is there.   It has been sixty-five years since anyone called me “Red.”  She spoke again, “Red,” and appended my last name.  I look toward Grandma.  She laughs.  “It’s me, she says, “Rosie.  Don’t you remember your Rosie?”  

She had at least the good grace to eschew the “It is I” affectation.  I know, I know; that is the grammatically correct form, but for some reason it is off-putting to me.  Probably my plebian roots.  I stopped, of course, turned up the walk and stood at the foot of the steps.  It was Rosie.  There was little doubt that this was the same person I had met during that summer long ago.  “Rosie!  This is wonderful!  But how did you recognize me?”

“Recognize you?  Why, you haven’t changed a bit!”

That clinched it.  No doubt this was Rosie, for Rosie was, and clearly still is, an inveterate liar. 

©2015 David W. Lacy

Monday, March 23, 2015

Pastries in the Early Morning

It started at 3:08 a.m.  It is not unusual for me to make a trip to the small room around this time of day.  Unfortunately getting cozy back under the covers did not lead to the immediate resumption of sleep.  Which my body craved.  But the mind.  Ah, the mind, she has a mind of her own.

I started thinking about stuff, or rather I started mentally roaming the small realm which is my universe.  Unbidden and with no recall of the trail that led me there, I was thinking of croquignoles. Now I have eaten this delicacy at least once, perhaps twice in my lifetime.  In order to properly order my thinking, I attempted the spelling of the word.  (The time may now be about 3:42.)  I came quite close, dropping the "g" and endowing the word with a second "l" to make up for it.  Not too bad for morning's wee hours, but still sleep eluded me.

This part I have to relate, because it is true, and after you read a bit further you may think I made this up.  But no, it actually happened this way. I was thinking about the restaurant in which Maizie is employed, and decided, in the state I was in, to have the chef, or cook, or whoever controlled the kitchen, to make croquignoles.  When we enjoyed this gustatory creation, I found it to be wonderful beyond my memory of any other such confections.  Louie, I had named him "Louie" by this time, explained that the deep frying process was done in his French fry oil, thus imparting a vague potato flavor to the goodies. By now, I have decided that I can make my own little Frenchy donut thingies.

So there I am in my bathrobe, coffee brewing, I seat myself at the computer at 4:45. Search: "croquignole."  Now we account for the first picture.  The first couple of pages of results were all about hair styling.  Say what?  Hair styling?  There were even articles directed to wannabe cosmetologists on prepping for their state boards.  It seems that a croquignole is a certain type of wave, or the technique used in setting such curls in which the hair is wound on a rod from the tip toward the scalp.  Who knew?  Well, BBBH, for one, but she was still sound asleep at six in the morning.  And seven o'clock, and . . .

And finally! Voila! Recipes for croquignoles of the delicious variety.  The first one I clicked on was by Emeril Lagasse, which I chose mostly because I had heard of him.  And guess what he used as a primary ingredient?  Potatoes.  I kid you not.  Now connect that back to what I told you above.  I am a genius and did not know it.

Reading further, I found a critic, a lady who apparently is the world's authority on croquignoles, and she asserted that Emeril's recipe was unlike any she had ever encountered, and the product, she averred, should rightly be called a beignet rather than a croquignole.  Then she launched into an essay on the origin of the pastries in question.  When I tell you I found it interesting, you need to put things into context: the sun was not yet up.  So now I know the difference between Cajun cooking and Creole cuisine, and so on and so forth.

And I went back to bed, having decided that the manufacture of croquignoles, no matter how delicious, is beyond my pay grade.

And I slept!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring, springs, and spring

These early signs of Spring in the yard combined with a sunny seventy degrees in the air tended to get me all excited within the range of possible excitement for a jaded old man such as myself.

Seriously, I do feel excitement at the promise of the coming of Spring and a new growing season.  I can still feel, I am just less able to be expressive about it.  I mean, there is no dancing in the streets.

In reading from the Bible,  I find the term "spring" as I am using it here to be pretty much absent although the word "spring" appears numerous times.  In I Samuel 9:26 we find an injunction to rise in "the spring of the day" which might be interpreted as a Spring such as we are soon to have, but I think more likely the phrase could as well have been interpreted "daybreak."

The only other use of the term which might reference a season is in Ezekial 17:9 wherein there is mentioned "leaves of her spring."  All other uses of the term refer either to spring (n.) as a source of water, a very important thing in that semiarid geographic locale, or to spring (vt.) meaning to leap, or to leap forth.  In any event, I find the Spring time of the year to be most exhilarating.

The first picture shows the springing of the naked ladies, or resurrection lilies about which I almost always write at the end of July.  The second picture shows the lilac, the leaves of which are near to bursting open!

About three years ago I wrote about Achsah, Caleb's daughter, and the springs which were the object of her attention in the Book of Joshua.  If you wish a short Sunday morning devotional, revisit the account here.

"Give me . . . springs of water."  Joshua 15:19
The readings are from the King James Version

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Puzzle Season Wind Down

This puzzle was fun,  Appeared daunting, was challenging, yet doable.

Reading the geography was a hoot, too. From Callyer Bluffs to the Alp Yourself Mountains in the Electric Range.  The Tinker's Dam forming Looney Lake on the Crymia River.  Weekend in the Wilden Crazy State Park or the Runamok Wildlife Preserve.  Pass Hog Heaven as you take the Uptown Excessway back home.

And lots of other equally silly stuff.