Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day 2018

No One
By Susan Sundwall

No one won’t come home again
When no one goes to war
And brother slays not brother
On some clouded distant shore

No one will see poppies grow
‘Tween crosses row on row
But only wind kissed petals
Nodding there in glorious show

When no one calls the hell of war
By other than its name
And turns his back upon it
With horror and with shame

Will then there be a peace on Earth
And God will bless the more . . . when
No one won’t come home again
For no one goes to war

Image: Free Digital Photos

Monday, May 21, 2018

A Short Spring Drive

Sometimes an early spring drive is a worthy substitute for an early spring walk and I had one of those drives this morning. Had to go to the local blood draw lab and I wanted to be the first one there. They  open at 6:30. I was the second one there. But that’s probably because I didn’t rush myself. After all the sun was out and up and glorious. Not a cloud in the sky. Bliss.

Reaching the first stop sign, I had to wait for two vehicles.The second one made me ponder. It was a low riding street or drag car of some sort – all black. Like it just got its first undercoat and was right then being driven to a shop to be painted and detailed so as to inspire awe. If I hadn’t been on my way to see Dracula, I would have followed the guy to help him pick out the colors. Or not. Guys can be real funny about that stuff.

Being one of the few drivers on the road, the stillness of everything was delightful. I almost wished I were walking. There must have been a downy blanket of fog that had come over the land during the night and it was just dissipating as I moved along. Rolling down the country road I was able to see in the distance the Catskill Mountains nearly shrouded in that fog but reaching for the sun nonetheless. The streaky haze almost looked as though God himself had lit a fine cigar and blown silken smoke rings around the lofty peaks.

The perfection of my early morning trek to the lab had totally changed a half hour later as I made for home. (I got a nifty lime green arm wrap from the phlebotomist to show for my suffering – very cool). Anyway, the world had roused itself while I was chatting away trying very hard not to look at my blood filling her vials. The bank lawn was being mowed with a huge ride on mower. A little further down, at the elementary school, teachers were beginning to arrive and I knew the bus drivers were gearing up to begin their rounds to gather their young charges.The traffic circle was full of workers trying to beat each other to the jobs they all love. I could tell by the joy on their faces.

As I moved away from all this activity and got back onto the road leading to home, a barn swallow rose from the cover of some tall grass and swooped out to bebop alongside me for a few seconds. I smile and said “hello, birdie”. And then my driveway, hot coffee, and my breakfast – in that order – were calling to me and I was back at our little shack in the woods.

Yes sir, a Spring walk is a tonic, but sometimes a slow watchful drive is a pretty good substitute.

How has the season been treating you?

Image: Free Digital Photos

Monday, May 14, 2018

Repeating Myself

This is a repeat I hope you'll enjoy. The outside has been calling to me so I'm being lazy with the writing today. I got pansies and impatiens for Mother's Day and they're begging to be planted. 

Around Town                  

A couple of days a week I run errands around town. I always have my eyes and ears open so I can report back to you. It has nothing to do with national security but quite a bit to do with natural curiosity. For instance.

I was bee bopping along the road, having just come from the post office, when ahead on my right, on the sidewalk, it appeared as though someone had forgotten to take off their Halloween costume. Was this a Mr. Potato Head on steroids? The top part of this costume was brown and crinkly and there were feet attached. It was a real fight to keep the car on the road as I drew near. But the mystery was soon solved. I whipped my head back to see a rather short woman carrying a largish bag of laundry on her head. No hands! Yeesh. Wish I had balance like that.

And then yesterday hubby and I, along with our daughter-in-law, took advantage of the discount offered to veterans at a local store. 25% off. Yay and let’s shop. We went our separate ways to cover all aisles and I wound up in food (bet you’re surprised there, huh?). So I’m discriminating like crazy against all the chocolate covered biscotti, extra large bottles of olive oil, etc. And then I see a little yellow box. Of sugar cubes. Sugar cubes! I picked it up and marveled. When was the last time you saw those? A flash from my childhood came back. In the late 50’s some clinics put the polio vaccine, a pink blob of it, on sugar cubes so kids would take it. Innovative. Mostly the cubes were used for coffee and tea, though. Oh, and sugar cube igloos. Can’t leave that out. Sugar cubes were a craft supply beloved of third grade teachers in those days.

This morning I woke up with the theme from On Golden Pond drumming through my head. Good grief, where had that come from? But suddenly I recalled a trip to DC one year with my sister and her family. We were wandering through a beautiful hotel lobby when we saw the baby grand. Nobody was around and my sister claimed that Laura could play this beautiful piece of music. To prove it she did. Her fingers found all the right keys and it was lovely, just lovely. And no bell hop came to shoo us.

Funny the things that happen on otherwise ordinary days. All you have to do is keep your eyes and ears open. Don’t you love it?

Image: My late brother, Jim’s, old truck

Monday, May 7, 2018

Laugh a Little

At what age does a personality trait begin to show in a child? Does a fussy eater become a no nonsense, everything in the proper order kind of adult who still doesn’t like his mashed potatoes to touch the green beans on his dinner plate? Does the little girl who is the first to jump into the freezing lake – in March – become the go gettum enthusiastic sky diving reporter? I don’t know about them, but I do know of myself that I have loved, from a very early age, making people laugh. Today, in honor of laughter and it’s attending wisdom, I’m highlighting popular quotes from some wise comedians of old who have left their mark on me. I hope you enjoy reading them and the comments that I just can’t resist making.

Will Rogers (1879 – 1935)

“Even if  you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

Wow, how true is this? Get your behind moving along that track cuz’ the next train is coming along to sniff your caboose. You really want that?

“Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.”

Oh, man, been there every week and done that every day. Right? It’s how we learn.

Satchel Paige (1906 – 1982)

“Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.”

My husband, “You know what old Satchel Paige used to say . . .” and then he uses this quote to fend off inquiring minds. It always gets a chuckle probably because it deserves to and it keeps that train moving down the track!

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?”

Twenty five and for the rest of my life. Oh, how wise was old Satchel.

Don Rickles (1926 – 2017)

“Italians are fantastic people really. They can work you over in an alley while singing an opera.”

We have Got to re-learn how to laugh at ourselves. Don’s nobody's- off- limits “insult humor” has cracked me up since I was a little girl. We only lost him last year and it was a very sad day for comedy.

Bob Hope (1903 – 2003)

“Middle age is when your age starts to show around your middle.”

The reason I still make up my eyes and wear bright shiny lip gloss is to distract from my age around my middle. Look into my eyes when we’re talking, dear friend, and I mean it.

“I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful.”

Thank you Mr. Hope. You have spoken my heart. As someone who graced the earth for over a hundred years you prove the old adage, “laughter is the best medicine.” Causing laughter, the good kind, may be one of your own personality traits. If so, be sure to share it with others every day if you’re able. They’ll love you for it. Promise.

Image: Free Digital Photos