Sunday, May 31, 2015

More Springtime Beauty

Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.  Psalm 40:5 KJV

The clover field behind the house.  Time to make hay.

 The iris have peaked and will soon be memories.
We used to call these flowers "flags."  Anyone
else remember that?

 The peonies always show up in time for Memorial Day.
The blooms are short-lived but magnificent.  Excellent 
as cut flowers, too.  A vase on the table brings loveliness 
into the house.
I had never heard these beauties called "pineys" until I 
moved to Indiana.  Say what?

The variegated dogwood is old now.  Lots of deadwood
had to be removed from the center and some serious
lopping for control.  Perhaps it will live a few
more seasons.

Kent and his mother admire the weigela which with
the hostas provide interest on the north side of the house.

Flora alone do not provide all the loveliness in
the yard.  I captured this lovely animal while 
working in the garden.  It crawled inside my shirt
sleeve.  Couldn't find it, thought perhaps it
had deserted me.  But no, after a bit I felt it
crawling atop my right ear.
The creature was returned to its habitat after
the photo session.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


You have doubtless witnessed me whining about my lack of "inspiration" for my blogging experiences.  I need to pay closer attention to what is going on in the neighborhood, and of course by neighborhood I mean all places inhabited by people.

In our neighborhood, Muncie where I once lived, a backyard picnic turned violent over the holiday weekend when a woman stabbed another woman in the eye with a barbecue fork in a disagreement over who got the last chunk of ribs.  We take our BBQ seriously in Indiana.

We do, however, take our legislature as a joke.  A recently passed law soon takes effect in Indiana.  It requires a vehicle traveling in the left lane of a four-lane highway  to move over when another vehicle approaches from the rear.  Yes, this means that if you are traveling 70 mph in a seventy-mile zone and an idiot going ninety comes up on you, you must move over.  Failure to do so could cause you to incur a fine of up to $500.  More to the point, if the idiot is going 90, protect yourself at all costs.

Anyway, the idiocy ratio (IR) in our legislature is 100% in the house (97 - 0) and 59% in the senate (29 - 20) for an overall legislative IR of  86%.  Seems about right.

Yes, I know it is idiotic to drive the speed limit in the left lane if the right lane is clear.  But how dumb is it to pass a law that could impose a fine on an otherwise law-abiding driver in favor of a fool.
It is sufficient to treat the left lane as a passing lane only.

Credit, if any, where credit is due:  It is my understanding that our fair state was not the first to endorse this legislation.

Headline:  School destroyed by tomato plants now garden.
My fault.  This is a case of faulty eyesight, not faulty writing or weird occurrences.  It actually reads: School destroyed by tornado plants new garden.

The story is from Lafayette, also in the neighborhood, approximately as far west of us as Muncie is  to the east.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Journaling: Northern Arizona**

We stopped in Tuba City, Arizona and filled up with gas.  Then we had a disturbing session with the ATM which would not read my bank card.  So I thought I'd use the credit card which is essentially against my principles, but what can you do?  OK, the machine read the card but I have forgotten my PIN.  So no money.  (When we arrived home much later there was a friendly letter from the card company reminding me of my secret number. Like I need it now.)

So on down the road sans cash.  At the crossing of the little Colorado, we turned westward to drive along the south rim of the Grand Canyon.  At the first scenic overlook, you guessed it, plywood booths totally obstructing the view such that had not one of the vendors failed to show for work that day we'd have seen nothing but plywood and product.  Through the empty booth, we could catch a glimpse of the scenic wonder beyond.  Our irritation was sufficiently intense that even JoAnn did not buy stuff.

Jo surveys the Canyon.

vanilla awed and amazed

The drive along the canyon was spectacular and many views made it worth the while, even though we knew we would return to the rim on the morrow.  We drove out of the Park to Tusayan and purchased a camping spot.  The following day, October 23, we drove to the Park, abandoned the RV and the dog in a parking lot, and boarded a bus for a scenic tour to various points along the canyon.  We disembarked at one point and enjoyed the area for an hour, boarded another bus and rode back to Moran Point where we got off and walked along the rim of the canyon about a mile and a half back to the Visitor Center where we boarded another bus to return to the parking lot.

You have all seen the pictures and most of you have read the feeble efforts others have made to describe the Canyon.  We won't even try.  It is indeed overwhelming.  We did observe that there were extensive forest fires on the North Rim which provided a rich haze of  smoke throughout the canyon which with the brilliant play of sunlight lent a phantasmagorical quality to the scenes.

Yet there was not sufficient smoke to obscure the view.  We were later told that the fires had been burning for two months and that there was no effort being made to squelch them.  Reforestation and renewal of the flora in the area, you see, as many seeds will not germinate unless they have been through the fire.

Back to Tusayan in the evening and a return to our campground.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

John Nash, Mathematician

Reading about the recent death of John F. Nash and his wife Alicia led to numerous revelations for me.  Yes, I saw "A Beautiful Mind."  I spent the following days of discussion with my spouse attempting to explain to her what we saw.  Blind leading the blind?  Perhaps.

John Nash who would want to be remembered as a mathematician will in all likelihood be as much if not more remembered as an economist.  It was in the field of economics in which he won the Nobel Prize.  Economists in large measure believe Nash's contributions to the field are at the minimum as important as were those of Adam Smith.

Everyone who has read the book A Beautiful Mind or who saw the cinematic production knows that Nash was brilliant almost beyond the comprehension of most people and moreover they know that he was a life-long sufferer of schizophrenia.  I shall make no attempt to detail his battle  It is to be noted that he and his wife left behind a son John, Jr. who holds a Ph.D. in his own right and who also suffers from schizophrenia.  It was one of his mother's major worries: What will become of Johnny when we are gone?

But one of the more sobering statistics I garnered in my reading was this.  Twenty-five percent of all Americans suffer from some form of mental illness.

The next time you are in a room with three other people look around.

In addition to John, Jr., Dr. Nash is also survived by another son, John Stier.

John Forbes Nash, Jr.  1928 - 2015
Alicia Lopez-Harrison Nash 1933 - 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Speeding Is the Least of My Infractions #T

Several years ago, I think about six years, I could look it up if it mattered,  it doesn't, we were traveling cross country in our G6 GT.  We had spent the night in
Kearney, Nebraska and in the morning we forsook the interstate and took US 34 westbound.

We were cruising along quite nicely and were probably thirty miles east of Benkelman when I spotted a grey car moving toward me in the eastbound lane.  I knew perhaps instinctively more than from visual evidence that it was a state trooper.  I glanced at the speedometer which read "76." Though I removed my foot from the accelerator pedal, I knew when he passed me that he was going to turn around.  He did.  I stopped at the flash of the red light.

"Good morning, sir.  License and registration, please."  I provided same.

"I had you at 72 miles per hour."

"That sounds about right."

BBBH speaks up from the passenger seat.  "We had been traveling on the interstate for a long time." Trying to be helpful, don't you know.

"Ma'am," replied the officer, "You have been off the interstate for quite some time."  He spoke truth.

The stalwart and faithful public servant wrote the ticket, handed it to me for my signature, told me he was giving me a "break" by noting "70" on the ticket which would reduce my fine, and advised me that I could either stop at the courthouse in Benkelman and pay the fine or I could mail it in.

We drove on to Benkelman and found a convenient parking spot on the courthouse square.  I went to the second floor where the sort of business I had was conducted.  The very nice lady cheerfully relieved me of $119.  Then she said, "About thirty miles out on 34?"

"Yes, ma'am.  Less than an hour ago."

"Yeah.  He got me there, too, week-before-last."

What? Cuts no slack for the locals?

I was later advised by a Nebraska resident that fines for speeding on the highway go to the public education fund in Nebraska.  Oh, goody.  That makes me feel so much better.  Maybe some kid will learn to distinguish "65" from "76."

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Thanks for Asking

1.  Yes, I drew the thing.
2.  Yes, a "self-portrait."
3.  Caricature; it's a caricature.
4.  No, I did not use a mirror.
5.  No, I was not looking at a picture.
6. So then it is how I see myself.
6.  Yes, my eyes are green.
7.  But perhaps not that shade of green.
8.  The  stache is not that long. (Anymore)
9.  Would someone who knew me recognize me?

You be the judge.
(This picture is well over a year old.  I am much better looking now.)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Journaling: Aztec Visit**

During our first evening with Joan and Wes, we drove into Farmington, half-dozen miles away and had dinner at a restaurant called "Zebediah's"  This is a good place to put on the feedbag if you are ever in the Four Corners area.  Much of the time in Aztec was spent in visiting and walking, rehearsing old times, and reciting our plans for the times yet to come.

We went again into Farmington and did antique mall, quite a good one as it turns out.  Jo bought stuff.  We had tacos for supper.  Of course we did, we were in New Mexico, after all.  The next day being Sunday we went to church with Wes and Joan at the Aztec Church of the Nazarene, their home church.  We had dinner at our hosts' home and lazed away the afternoon.

Monday morning, we visited Aztec Ruins National Monument which is only three or four miles from our base.  Were there really Aztecs in Northern New Mexico? you are supposed to ask.  No, of course not.  The Indians who occupied the area were the Anasazi, or "The People" as they designated themselves.  Very interesting site.  Don't miss it when you are in the area.

Lunch was at an authentic Mexican restaurant.  Food was great and available in whatever degree of "hot" one might desire.  Following lunch, we shopped around downtown Aztec.  Specialty and curio shoppes in some number, but Aztec as a center of commerce has seen its day if it ever had one.  Not so different in that regard from hundreds of other towns across the land since the advent of the suburban mall, the K-Mart, and the Walmart.  A bicycle ride cost us two new tubes.  I rode through a patch of goathead.  When I replaced the tubes I removed eight thorns from one tire, twelve from the other.

On Wednesday, October 22 we said our farewells to Joan and Wes who never fail to remind us that if we never meet again on this orb we have an appointment to gather together at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.  We drove through Farmington and Shiprock turning once again inadvertently to the south. We discovered the error and returned to Shiprock and continued on in our intended direction.  We did get some good shots of the Shiprock while on the detour.

We drove on a while, then took an intentional detour to the north in order to visit the Four Corners Monument.  As in every scenic overlook or point of interest which lies within the Indian Nation, the entire  area around the marker is surrounded by vendors' booths, which though constructed  of bare 2 x 4s and plywood and quite tacky in appearance, were occupied by skilled artisans, many plying their trade and all offering their wares for sale.  Beadwork, jewelry, pottery, blankets, and paintings were among the available items.  JoAnn bought stuff.  We ate fry bread and burgers, moved on down the road. -TBC

Standing in Four States.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

This is the Day the Lord Has Made

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

The columbis, or the clematibine 

The flapper. Shutter too slow, or cameraman's reflexes too slow?
The latter, I think.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Friday, May 22, 2015

Journaling: Across New Mexico **

When last you heard of us we three, JoAnn, David, and terrier Cookie, were tooling westward along I-40 heading out of the Texas Panhandle early on the morning of October 16, our ninth day out of Tipton at the rate of 65 mph and 8.5 mpg.  And gas is not cheaper west of the wherever.  We stopped for breakfast in Tucumcari, New Mexico.  Yes, Virginia, there is a Tucumcari.  The morning's drive then took us to Cline's Corner in time for lunch.  This is truly nowhere and its usefulness relies solely on that fact coupled with the fact that it is the junction at which one must decide which of the cardinal compass points one wishes to follow.  People who work at the service station/restaurant cum curio store on-a-vast-scale actually live here.  Well, they have to.  There is no other human habitation within hours of this desolate place.  We were here for two hours, had lunch, and, of course, Jo bought stuff.,

We turned north from Cline's and drove through Santa Fe and on to Abiquiu Reservoir Park.What a gorgeous place!  I know.  That is a truly inadequate adjective but used here because words indeed fail.  The campsites are arranged on a hillside ascending above the reservoir, a large lake surrounded by arid hills and mountains, buttes, cliffs.  There were three other camp vehicles on site.  The first location we chose had no power.  In talking to a neighboring camper, we found that the power had been shut off the day before, October 15.  She, however, being experienced in such things had had the foresight to call the ranger station and asked for a couple of extra days for her site.  Good fortune!  If she had power, so likely would adjoining sites.  One of them did and we had a wonderful camping experience.  We walked along the cliffs and watched the sun set behind the mountains.  This whole area is to be highly recommended, not only to campers but to you all should you ever have the good fortune to be anywhere near.

 Abiquiu Reservoir

We broke camp on the morning of October 17 and drove westward on NM 96. And, of course, I would never admit my intention to return to the northbound highway and continue on in that direction, but made a right turn our of the campgrounds instead of a left and after seven or eight miles discovered what had transpired stubbornly pressed on rather than retrace any of those miles.  Serendipity is defined by just such twists, for this stretch of road was one of the truly scenic and interesting on the trip to this point.  A few hills and curves, but by this time my confidence as a truck driver was, well, perhaps better than it needed to be.  After two or three hours, this road connected with US 550 headed northwest into Aztec our next planned stopover.  550 is basically a superhighway without the limited access, so we were soon at the home of my childhood chum, Wesley and his gracious wife Joan.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Camping Season Inaugurated

We have been away from the home port since last Sunday afternoon while the old blog has been running on autopilot.  We spent three days and nights at Mounds State Park with our Christian Campers Fellowship.

Our start on Sunday afternoon had us wishing immodestly for the privilege of removing most of the clothing, which we never did or even mentioned.  In two words: hot, muggy.  Monday we found to be bearable, meaning that with a sweatshirt by day and a heater at night we were uncomplaining.

Then Tuesday came and I was not sufficiently disciplined enough to keep from remarking on the state of affairs, for I wore over my tee two sweatshirts.  And a denim jacket.  Tuesday night was in the forties, and sitting around inside a camper was much less entertaining than sitting around in my well-insulated properly heated home.  We did, though, go with two other couples into Anderson for lunch, a pleasant couple of hours in the car and in the restaurant.  But back at the campground we decided as the raindrops started to fall that since we had already paid for Wednesday night it made no difference whether we spent it in the campground or at home, it would cost us the same either way. So we packed up and drove home.

Ah, there is no place like home.  Like the comforts of home.  Like the heat, the light, the space, the internet access.

But we will go camping again in a few weeks.  (Some people never learn.)

Some fellowship, some trail walking, beautiful outdoors.

Wednesday, sitting in the RV looking through
the windshield.  Nothing going on. 
From the clipboard.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Journaling: Frightened Away **

The next day, October 15, was in Jo's words a "boring drive."  With yet two or three hours of daylight, we arrived at McClellan National Grasslands campgrounds about sixty miles east of Amarillo.  The place was deserted but with directions to deposit cash in the strongbox slot and pick a site.  We chose to drive through the area and look it over.  Beautiful lake, lovely woods.  We picked a spot and pitched camp.  Water, electricity okay and the shower house provided an abundance of nice hot water.  We availed ourselves of this.  I built a campfire and Jo fixed supper.  A flock of five wild turkeys wandered past about fifty yards from us, snuffling and picking up whatever it is turkeys are interested in.  How would I know?

As dusk fell eight deer wandered in from the opposite direction, grazing along.  They got even closer than had the turkeys.  A beautiful sight.  As it turned out they stayed nearly as long as we did.

After supper and clean up we read and relaxed for some time.  Oh, did I mention that there was still absolutely no one else in the park, and this is four miles off the highway?  Finally I went to bed about 10:30.  At 11:30:  "Honey, get up now!  I think we need to get out of here."  As I dressed hastily, Jo Ann said that a car had cruised by slowly and when it swung around and drove by the second time she got concerned.  Everything was disconnected, stowed, and we were rolling in less than five minutes.  Oh, the guilt!  We didn't stop and walk the thirty yards up to the deposit box.  Oh, well.  We spent the $11 somewhere else.

I drove while JoAnn slept.  When she awakened and drowsily asked how far is it to Amarillo I responded that we had passed Amarillo an hour ago.  But Texas has roadside pullouts where campers and semi drivers pull over and sleep.  About 2:00 a.m. we pulled into one of them and had the comfort of being surrounded by a couple dozen diesels chugga-chugga while we slept the time away.
We actually slept well and didn't travel again until true daylight.  The clock read 7:15 and it was not until some time later that I realized we had crossed a time zone and it was only 6:15 when we got on the road. --TBC

Roadside rest park

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Spider

The spider is a wee creature yet she catcheth her weight in bugs.
A cobweb in the corner is better than RaidTM in the air.

Problurbs 4: 5,6

Serious scientific studies have observed that orb weavers, e.g., capture approximately their own body weight in insects over a period of five days.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Journaling: Memphis to Texas PH **

Monday morning we started moving westward along I-40 which we followed to Little Rock.  There we veered southward and went into Hot Springs which we had visited two years ago.  This time, though, we went there to visit friends Dawn and Josh.  The four of us had dinner together, then Dawn took us on a driving tour of the area.

The next day we ventured into western Arkansas, stopping at such places as Pencil Bluff for shopping in a mineral store, eventually turning north at Y City.  Now there is originality.  It's where the road, you guessed it, Ys.  From there quickly onward to Ft. Smith, and thence into Oklahoma.  We are beginning to get the hang of living in a space about 8 x 14 feet, not counting the cab area.   Or are we?

We continued onward via I-40 which at this point follows the famous Route 66.  We stopped in Clinton to visit Route 66 Museum.  We arrived at Shawnee early in the evening and camped at Catfish Roundup, a very nice facility with restaurant on the grounds.  The price was right and the catfish was great.  Deep fried, of course.  What diet?

 Route 66 Museum, Clinton, Oklahoma. 
I owned a van like this one.  I wrote about it here.

The owners of the grounds had a large area populated by several deer, including Lucy, a very small doe, and some of her offspring.  She always throws twins and one set of buck twins was particularly magnificent.  Nice racks.  Lucy was quite the pet and JoAnn enjoyed handing her clumps of grass.  Cookie was jealous and showed himself somewhat.

Lucy, Cookie, and JoAnn

Sunday, May 17, 2015

New Life

To offer something new amongst the recall, retreads, and retro things that have been appearing on String Too Short to Tie I present the pine blossom.

There is a lovely pine shrub in the front yard mound.  Each year it seems to cover a larger percentage of the allotted space though we do prune it in an attempt to keep it under control.

While the green of the long densely-massed needles is quite attractive, I like it best when it is in bloom, another of Spring's marvelous offerings.

I am well aware that living in a piney woods has its drawbacks.  Pine pollen all over everything is a major nuisance, and if one is allergic to the stuff it is beyond nuisance.  It is a dreaded and unwelcome intruder into that individual's life.

But we have little of it and I enjoy the beauty of the plant when it is in this stage of producing new life.


Saturday, May 16, 2015


For years, I have seen the yellow fields in Springtime Indiana.  Being basically ignorant of botany and agriculture, I mistakenly assumed that the plants were mustard, and in some instances even imagined that they were literal rape (canola) crops.

Today I took the time to walk into a field and pluck a sample of this creature for closer study.  Imagine my surprise when at first look I saw not a blossom with four petals, but rather an aster-like cluster of flowers on each stalk.  To the interwebz!  A Purdue University site quickly made identification certain: Butterweed or Cressleaf Groundsel (Packera glabella formerly Senecio glabellus).

It’s everywhere!  It’s everywhere!

Look at that little dickens.  Would you look at that?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Journaling: Lexington to Memphis **

On the tenth (October) we bade farewell to our hosts and proceeded in a northwesterly direction to New Albany, Indiana for a visit with Mark and Patty.   Since we knew they would not yet be home when we arrived in town, (would I ever admit I took a wrong turn and wound up on a road to the top from which there was no turning around?) we drove up and over and down Floyds Knobs. a series of beautiful wooded hills overlooking the Ohio River and the cities of New Albany, Clarksville and Louisville.  The summit area is agricultural with truck farms, orchards, and vineyards.

During our visit Craig and Kim with their three girls, Elizabeth, Jennifer, and Anna arrived for the Harvest Homecoming festivities, an event which, I understand, Kim will not miss.  It was good to see them again, albeit briefly.

Upon leaving New Albany, we chose to drive to Memphis via the Kentucky Parkway system to the southwest.  We had never used this route before.  "Bucolic" is a word that springs to mind, but very scenic through the hill, the trees in fall foliage.  We stayed at a state park in the corner of Kentucky and found it to be a very pleasant camping experience.  We arrived in Collierville, Tennessee and found Doug, Joanie and Suzanne awaiting us.  We had a very pleasant visit.

Suzanne and Cookie get acquainted.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Fair Exchange

Verily he shall do the dishes whose spouse prepareth the meal. 
--Duderonomy 3:17


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Conversations with Random People: Thirteen

I was riding the bike westward on Jefferson Street, homeward bound.  As I approached Green Street, I saw a woman hastening toward me on the sidewalk.  She raised a hand and I stopped, put my foot on the curb.  "My God," she exclaimed, "are you still alive?"

I've had this happen before, but this time I was ready.  "Shouldn't I be?"

She did not answer the question but blathered on, "You were my math teacher in junior high!"

"Yep," I averred.  "Forty years ago, no, forty-five years ago."

"The lady you married, Mrs. S.  I had her for PE.  Whatever happened to her?"

"She died seventeen years ago.  Cancer.  Two years of treatment, but. . ." I let the thought trail off.

"Sorry.  Sometimes the treatments are as bad as the disease.  I love this house!"  We were standing in front of a house which is on the market.

"I am just crazy about that pool," she told me.

"Salt-water pool," I told her.

"I know.  If I had this place I'd be skinny dipping in there every night."

Thanks, Lady, for putting that image into my head.  Note that there are no quotation marks around that.

"My wife loves it, too.  I told her we could buy it, but then we would have to move."

"Wait,"  the lady said.  "This house was built in 2009.  You just said your wife died seventeen years ago."

"Right, and right.  I have remarried."

A look of disbelief flashed momentarily across her face as she held up her left hand displaying three fingers.  "Three wives?  You have been married three times?"

"Three wives," I replied, holding up three fingers myself.

Well, we talked on for some time, looking over the figurative railing at the waters of time that had flowed under the bridge lo, those many years ago.  Then I said, "I have to ask your name."

"No problem."  She told me the name by which I knew her long ago.

"Sure, I remember that little girl."

Anyway, a few more pleasantries, she made as if to leave, offered me her hand, which I took briefly.  "Can I call you David?" she asked.

"Of course.  You don't have to call me 'Mister,"'

"Can I call you Dave?"


"Well, then."  The woman turned and walked away, not giving me the opportunity to explain that it was nothing personal.  It is just that I am not Dave.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Journaling BBE **

BBE: Before Blogging Era, or at any rate years before I undertook to maintain a blog.
BBBH:  Beloved Beautiful Better Half; referred to her BBE as "JoAnn."

In the summer of 2003, BBBH and I scoured much of Central Indiana looking for a used motorhome. This resulted in the purchase of a 24-foot unit, seven years old but with only 17,000 miles of use.

October arrived and we had yet to test this thing on a really significant trip.  So we loaded up and headed out.  Though I did not have a blog I did have some interest in keeping family and friends advised of our whereabouts and adventures, should we have any.  I chose to send periodic emails via the expediency of using friends' computers along the way, or stopping at local libraries to post messages.  As it turned out this resulted in a journal which we have kept for the memories.

As there has been an inspiration dry-spell here at STSTT, I thought to share some of that very first RV journey.  The two asterisks following the title of the posts will alert you to the fact that the story is old news from our younger days.  There is some editing for brevity. Choose to read if you wish.

On October 8 our RV headed south and east to Lexington, Kentucky where we had a most enjoyable visit with Carl and Bernardine.  We parked our rig right next to theirs on a horse farm directly across the road from Keeneland Race Park.  Carl's fascination with horses is life-long and legendary-- at least in the family.  

The Horseman, Keeneland in background.

When Air Force One was parked on the tarmac directly to the right of our vehicle the only thing between us and the plane was a bobwarr fence and a quarter mile of space.  And probably a bunch of unseen rifle-toting secret servicemen.  We didn't venture over to the fence.  Along the motorcade route, it appeared that every police officer in the Commonwealth of Kentucky was on duty.

That is Air Force One above JoAnn's head

Monday, May 11, 2015


Verily his ducks are always in a row who has but two ducks.  --Problurbs 1:8

Observed by Euclid of Alexandria, 4th/3rd Centuries B.C.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

We Remember

vanilla with Vee and Mama                                                                                                                                                          BBBH with her Mother

Friday, May 8, 2015

Mother's Day 2015

I wrote this piece for Mother's Day a year ago. As we celebrate our mothers be considerate of others, knowing that not all lives are molded by similar circumstances.  Hope yours is a blessed and happy Mother's Day weekend.

A Mother's Day Tale

The white mid-heel pumps elevated her to just over six feet.  She thought them a flattering addition to her ensemble, though the cost at just over two-hundred dollars with tax had made them more than half the price of her entire outfit,  She topped herself off, so to speak, with the cute little short-brimmed fedora, white with a pink rosette attached to the black band on the right, the sole touch of color she wore this morning.

Midge was thankful, almost thrilled, that hats were back.  She had suffered through the long years during which they had fallen out of favor.  She liked to be stylish, but she had doggedly refused to go to church without a hat, and now, glory be, she was no longer the only woman in the pews properly so attired.

The white shantung two-piece suit had been a bargain she could not pass by, and it was flattering to her slender figure.  The skirt and jacket were both modest in cut, but the overall effect said, “This woman knows how to dress.”  So what if the calendar tells her that Memorial Day is yet two weeks away?  It is a fantastic Spring morning, and nothing would make her feel better than to be dressed in her newest and most flattering threads.  Do people refer to clothing as “threads” anymore?  No, probably not.  So much has changed.  So much has changed.

Midge had just observed her sixty-sixth birthday a week ago, but as she checked her appearance in the mirror one last time before departing her house, she thought, “Not too bad for an old lady, considering what I have to work with.”  And with a smile she stepped through her front door to start the walk to the little stone church about a mile away on Langer Road.  Midge’s smile faded as she walked, for she sensed that she was an island alone in a stream, being passed on all sides by those who gave her no thought, no consideration, who, in fact, seemed unaware of her existence.  And this is Mother’s Day.  There could hardly be a worse time for this lady to go to church, to listen to the paeans to motherhood.  But she is faithful.

Midge Wilson was born in 1948.  She had never known a parent, father or mother, for she was an orphan, at least so far as anyone knew.  The infant Midge was literally placed on the doorstep of the rectory in a large city in the Midwest.  She had three or four years with a family that had adopted her, but the Wilsons both perished in an auto accident, and again the child was without parent.  No one in the Wilson family was willing to take another child into their home, and thus an orphanage became her home.  Midge was never again adopted, but she was bright and determined.  She graduated high school, went to business college.  She had been engaged as a bookkeeper, a job for which she was well-suited, and she made a career of it.   She had never married, and though she was an attractive lady, she seemed never to be able to make the kind of connection she believed was important to a marital relationship.  She laid her pencils and spreadsheets aside only a few months past. She was anticipating a life of travel, seeing the world about which she had only read.

Her little heels click as she walks along, but a sense of dread builds up within her.  Now she is seated in the sanctuary and the service begins.  Then, indeed, the praise of mothers begins, the recognition of special mothers, the oldest mother, the youngest.  The mother with the most children present this morning, and so on.  And Midge, having never known a mother’s love, having never been a mother, is less than worshipful in her outlook.  But she endures.

Following the service, Miss Wilson walks four blocks to a nice restaurant for the Sunday brunch.  She takes her time, enjoys the spread.  She manages to put thoughts of the past into the past and begins thinking about her future.  Her mood lightens, the day brightens, and by the time she steps into the street again, she is her old cheerful self.  A few blocks along and she is in front of a nursing home. On impulse she turns up the drive, goes to the front door.  She is admitted when she explains that she hoped to visit for a few minutes with anyone who might not have family present on this day.  In the lounge or parlor area, groups of people are laughing, chatting with loved ones and generally seem to be in the spirit of the day.

In one corner of the room sits a lady in a wheelchair.  This woman has clearly lived many, many years.  Midge could not guess how old she was, but some number up to the century mark would have been credible.  Midge pulled a chair near her and introduced herself.  “Have you family, Mother?”  Midge asked.

“Oh, yes,” replied the old soul, “I have two daughters.  They are the loveliest girls in the world.  I am sure they will be here soon.”

“That’s wonderful.  Perhaps we can visit a bit while we wait for them.  Could you tell me about your daughters?”

“Oh, yes.  Susan, Susan is the older one.  Susan married well.  Her husband is an executive vice-president with Wells Fargo.  Patricia has four children, the darlingest grandchildren ever!”  And she lives...”  The old lady raised her head, looked toward the door and said, “Oh, look!  Here come my girls now!”

Susan turned to see a short plump woman in blue jeans leading two golden retrievers across the room.  Midge realized that the woman was on a mission to cheer people with her therapy dogs.  The lady came directly toward them, and the old mother reached toward the animals.  “Oh, my girls,” she said, “I knew you would come!”  And as she placed her hand on the head of the nearer beautiful beast, she continued, “Patricia, it has been so long.  How are you?  Are you well?  How are the children?”

Midge left the room and exited the building, all the while thinking.  I really haven’t the faintest idea about motherhood.  Never had a mother, never been a mother.  And now I am thinking maybe that is not a bad thing.

© 2014 David W. Lacy