Friday, September 24, 2010

A Thing of Beauty?

Self-Portrait : 09-24-10

I suffer again from respiratory discomfort - not yet to the "distress" level. This time, I think it's allergies, or a combination of germs and ragweed, but to be on the safe side, after self-medicating and staying in bed for a couple of days, I visited my physician yesterday afternoon.  $338 later, I had undergone an X-Ray of my sinuses (slightly infected), extensive blood analysis (I still have a bit left), a steroid injection and two prescriptions.  I'm still alive today, and feeling somewhat better, thanks be to God.

All that as it may be, I felt I  had to mow the raggedy front yard today.  It's supposed to rain a bit for the next few days, and I was sprinkled upon as I was bringing the mower into the back yard, which put an end to my mowing. Besides, I was ready to give it up; breathing through one of those Maxi-Masks can be hard work. 

As I think I may have mentioned in an earlier post, our city gub'ment is quick to send hateful letters to folk who let even one solitary patch of grass exceed 8" in  height, and threaten to come mow your property and send you a bill unless the "problem" is taken care of immediately.  I think I shall apply for a job in that department (the sussing out of unkempt yards, that is), as I have seen several yards in my vicinity in DIRE need of a good mow.  Those folk are either exempt from city harassment, or they just ignore the epistles.   I haven't seen any city workers out with their mowers on those properties.  Can we say "discriminatory practices?"  Or do the powers that be only send letters to the folks they know will comply, even if they're 100 years old with one foot in the grave?


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ode to a Misplaced Cup of Coffee

My younger sister continues to insist that my memory is not quite as good as I think it is, even to the extent of sending me a very cute, handmade birthday "report card" with the heartless indication that I was falling short in the memory department.  She's about put me off the idea of recounting any events that occurred during our youth -- at least when she was present.  I shall henceforth have to be very selective in my reporting.

However, to be fair, she may have a point.  While I steadfastly deny that my long-term memory is faulty, I have noticed (quite a bit, actually) that my short term memory is playing me false.  To demonstrate the latter, I offer you the following which I composed this morning (may be read with the melody of “Tannebaum” running through your mind. If you’ve forgotten the tune, may I direct you to: Tannebaum )


Oh, Coffee Mug, Oh, Coffee Mug,
Where have I put you this time?
I set you down and walk away,
Another thought has come my way.
Oh, Coffee Mug, Oh, Coffee Mug,
Where have I put you this time?

My favorite mug, not hard to see
Where have I put you this time?
I leave you and the brew gets cold.
It’s clear to me I’m getting old.
Oh, Coffee Mug, Oh, Coffee Mug,
Where have I put you this time?

Cup of delight, so gently brewed,
Where have I put you this time?
Sometimes you’re in the microwave,
Your gift of warmth I sought to save,
But you’re not there, Oh, where, Oh, where,
Where have I put you this time?

Not on the desk nor counter top,
Where have I put you this time?
The bedside chest is a choice spot
But are you there? Oh, no, you're not.
Oh, Coffee Mug, Oh, Coffee Mug,
Where have I put you this time?

I could go on, but enough is enough.  Thank you for your indulgence.

Although I have a small home (6 small rooms and bath), I sometimes give up the search and brew another cup.  Usually before bedtime, I find the missing cup in, you guessed it, the last place I look!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Memory - 1953

I have previous admitted I am a pack rat, and tend to hold on to a large and diverse number of items that have some value to me, sentimental or otherwise. While working in a bookcase a couple of weeks ago, I ran across a journal "Don't Forget to Remember" that has been part of my pack rat's nest since Albuquerque days (we moved to Arkansas in 1950).  Embossed on the deep brown faux leather front cover is "Strong's Office Supply, 403 West Copper Ave, Albuquerque, New Mexico."  The book belonged to my mother, but the inscription stating such seems to be in my own juvenile handwriting, and as far as I can determine, she never made any entries in it. 

Inside are a number of list of facts, as they were in the 1940's. Included are lists of such things as land areas, continental populations (the continents listed being Asia, Europe, North America, Africa, South America, and Oceania.) North America's population was shown as 175,800,224.  That must have been from the 1940 census. The list also includes longest rivers, largest lakes, biggest deserts, largest cities (London was listed in first place with a population of 7,742,212,) largest islands, biggest seas and highest mountains.  There follows a list of states (neither Alaska nor Hawaii is included), a two-page spread of the Declaration of Independence, a list of presidents and vice presidents of the United States, ending with Harry S. Truman, a list of national parks, and an extensive list of major world events, ending with a short list of events from 1946.  The book must have been printed in late 1946 or early 1947.

The address book portion of this journal seems to be written by several hands, none of which were my mother's.  I recognize both of my sisters' and my own in the compliation of the list.

I must have taken this book with me to college, since in the Memoranda section are listed two line items of income dated 9-8-53 and 10-5-53, the first being $1.00 for babysitting for Mrs. Carter (who was my boss at the college post office where I worked), and the second being my paycheck from the post office in the amount of $18.60. That was probably for the month of September, since I went to work there on September 6 or 7.  As I recall, I was paid 40 cents an hour.

Although the entries are sporadic, with many blank dates, on a whim, I looked at September 1 (1953) and found a full page entry in my handwriting:

       "Well, today was the great breaking off point. Through am I with my job for the duration of college. How I hated to leave; practically cried all over the place. Everyone has been so sweet to me.  "M" came back Monday. Tonight she gave me a pair of beautiful nylon (unmentionables) as a farewell gift. I wonder how they are going to get along without me?  Probably very well.
        Jo B is back from Glorieta. She saw Betty quite a lot. I really enjoyed talking to her. How I would like to see Betty. I wish I could be going to school with her this year at UNM (University of New Mexico.)  B.M. has offered to show me around the school campus and help me register, but I think I will decline the favor.  P.S. No bonus. H.J. broke his promise to me and I really needed it, too."

My job had been as a bookkeeper/teller at the local bank, where I had worked for about 14 months after completion of high school.  The college to which I was going was Arkansas State Teachers' College in Conway, Arkansas, now known as the University of Central Arkansas.

If I remember to remember (heheheh), I may dip back into this book from time to time to share a few glimpses of my life from over 50 years ago.