Thursday, June 29, 2006

Saint Jimmie Earl...NOT!

Teens of today don't have anything on us elder blokes in the "being ornery" department. There are some things that you don't want your children to know about their parents as they grow up for fear they wil do some equally stupid and then say, "well, you did it," But now that Prof and Lil Bro are all grown up, I must confess that I am not the saint that I always wanted them to believe. I actually excelled in ornery. So much so, that twice in my highschool career, I was threatened with "reform school" or " military school." Of course, I didn't know how much either would cost, and it was impossible for my parents to afford either, so they had me by the short hair. I just became a little sneakier.
Early on, I took the boat out (I grew up rurally on a nice lake) and the neighbor girl and I exchanged boats and each rowed the other back to shore. I could swim, she couldn't. She got a spanking, I got sent to my room. This was about age 8. Probably the same summer, my brother, the neighbor boy and I discovered that if we climbed on a bench in the mens dressing room at the public beach, we could see over the wall into the ladies dressing room. We never saw anything interesting, but it was "cool" to know that we could.
As I got older, the mischief got more mischevious. After the summer kids went home, and fall arrived, a bunch of us would cut dried cat tail stems and smoke them. Yes, we got high, but we didn't know it. We just thought the other one was acting dumb. Jr. High was mostly finding out all we could about the opposite sex. Copping a feel on the "tilt-a-whirl" or the "scrambler" at the county fair was permissible and possible cause we were being thrust together anyhow. Never got my face slapped, but got several dirty looks, then a coy grin. Many hour were spent trying to guess a girl's bra size and admiring female anatomy.
In high school, I was slightly more ornery. Yes, I wore pegged levis. A friend of my brothers pegged them for us We would go to her house, put the appointed pair of jeans on wrong side out and she would pin them from the cuff to about 3 inches above the knee. This was exciting in itself. In a few days she would deliver our jeans. I had to wear a sock and point my toes to get them on. I also rolled my pack of Marlboro's into my sleeve as soon as I got away from the house. Boy, was I cool. These were also the years that I got asked to leave a school dance because I was doing the "twist" and the "stroll" with too many pelvic thrusts. One summer evening several of us were driving by Krogers, which at that time was right across the street from the police station right down town. Krogers was closed, but there was a huge display of watermelons stacked right out front. You guessed it, my buddy and I got out of the back seat of the car, strolled by Krogers, casually picked up a watermelon, and when our driver appeared after driving around the block, again casually slipped back into the car's backseat watermelon and all. Warm watermelon never tasted so good!
Halloween was a fav time for us country folk. We threw shelled corn at people's windows, stuffed smashed pumpkins into their mailboxes, and filled kerosene soaked gunny sacks with fresh cow manure and set them on fire on a guy's porch. Of course, we all ran and hid just out of the light enough to see what each of these antics would cause. Only once did we get shot at, over our heads of course. I am sure that the people knew who was doing most of the mischief since there were only about six of us teens within a 2 mile radius of home. I once fell into a sunken grave in an old grave yard while running away after a dastardly prank. I also crashed my bike into a friend, fell off and she ran over my head with her bike in a frantic effort to get away from some of the pranks we played.
How about the time a group of guys stole an old ladies outhouse and took it up town. The very next day, that group of guys got called into the principal's office, were made to take the outhouse back, and reinstall it, and apologize enmasse. ( Note, I just remembered, that was my brother, not me!)
Mom taught in the same school that we attended, so we either had to behave or be careful. I usually chose the latter, and it always backfired. She usually found out what I had done before I even had the chance to tell her.
My dad was a neat guy, don't get me wrong, but he was strict. He thought everyone who rode a motorcycle was a "hood." Two of my friends had them, so I would walk a mile down the road, then get on back and ride for a while around the country roads, and then they would let me off, and I would walk the mile back home.
You already know what he thought when I pierced my ear. Imagine if either my brother or I would have showed up with a tattoo! HOLY SHITH!
So now, you see I was an A-typical teenager. After I began college, I began calming down. I began to take life more seriously. So really, have things changed that much. I think not. There are just more things out there to do to cause mischief. I don't think youth of today are too bad.

Friday, June 23, 2006

What a Day!

Fridays in the public transit business are a bitch. Everyone suddenly remembers that we are not open on Saturday and Sunday, so they have to go somewhere right now, today, at this moment. When I arrived at work at quarter to seven this morning, the phone was already ringing. Now, our rule is that we don't answer it until 7 AM, but I don't know how you are, but to me a ringing phone demands to be answered! I resisted until about 3 till, and could not stand it any more.
EM was on there whining about having to get to the bank. She would only be in there a minute, and then wanted to go back home. I told her that I had an opening at 11, but she wanted to go earlier. Now here is a woman, alone, who is 67 years old, lives in a retirement community, has all the time in the world, but she had to go "right now". The bank doesn't even open until 0830, so I told her she would have to wait. I even suggested she call her daughter who lives 3 minutes away to take her if she couldn't wait. She waited, called back 3 times, to verify that we would not forget her, that she wanted to be picked up at her patio entrance instead of the main door, and finally that would we drop her at Krogers instead of taking her home, then make another trip back to take her home. HOLY SHITH lady! This was only one occurance. CC and JT who live 14 miles out in the county, and had made plans to come into to town to Wal Mart, called and tried to convince me that a driver could wait 45 minutes on them and take them "right back home." Didn't happen! Not because I was being a hard nose, but simply because we didn't have time.
Let me tell you, this was just a sampling of how my day at the dispatch desk went. Besides, my relief person had surgery earlier in the week, and is off until next week sometime, so getting out of the office to even go pee was a challenge.
Through all of this, I managed to get July and August scheduling sheets ready, and the first week of September is ready, too. At the end of the day, I was tired, both mentally and physically, but I was also proud. I had managed to get everyone where they wanted to go and back home. I had kept all drivers reasonably on schedule, and even managed to eat half a box of "Chips Ahoy" cookies, along with Curly's snickerdoodles.
I went home, took Tilly to Wal Mart and Burger King, and was again satisfied with life being good. But, boy, I can hardly wait until school starts. What!!!!! Am I nuts???

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Well folks, I finally did it. Today I visited my friendly hair stylist. You know, the one who never can remember which rake she used on my head, remember? Well, I decided to go Q-Ball at least for the summer. I watched as she scooted those clippers over my head rendering me totally skinned, except for the "peach fuzz" which the clippers would not cut. That will come off in the shower with lather and a safety razor. It's been 5 hours now, and I can say that aside from my neck itching from the closeness of the clippers, it's cool.
Feeling air on my head in spots where I have always had hair is weird, but I kinda like it. My wife, Tilly, said she thought it made me look younger, EEEEEE HA!
Facing the people at work in the morning, will be a new experience, but it should be interesting. I am not usually a radical person, and this is probably the most radical thing I have done since getting my ear pierced about 20 years ago. (I pierced it myself in college with a needle and two ice cubes, but my dad about crapped, accused me of being a "hood" and I let it grow closed.) Oh, I did buy a lavender tee shirt the other day. My first venture into the "purple" part of the color wheel. I don't know how well I will like being without hair, but I do know I won't have to worry about buying shampoo or combs. I will just have to lay in a stock of hats and sunscreen. Maybe it's just a "post midlife crisis." Or maybe I am becoming more adventuresome in my older age!
This Bird is a Slut!

This summer my wife and I have experienced the phenomenon of ultimate motherhood.
Right outside the entrance to our house, hangs a flower basket full of dead plants that I didn't get dumped last fall after frost did away with our flowers. When I decided to dump it, I discovered that a female mourning dove had made a nest in this basket. Mind you, it is right beside the door where I could touch her anytime, but for some reason Momma B felt very safe there. We soon discovered that she had laid two eggs there and was nesting and preparing for her young to be born. Every time we went in and out we would talk to her and ask her how her day was going, how's the incubating coming, etc. Of course, she just looked at us with those huge dove eyes, and remained still. She blended into the dead flowers, and visitors would come and go, and never notice her. Finally the day arrived that she gave birth, so to speak, of two of the ugliest little critters you ever saw. It was interesting to watch how Momma B kept them completely underneath her, and once a day Poppa B would come, light on the edge of the basket, and perch there while Momma B flew away to eat and probably just chat with the other new moms who were out on the town for a few minutes. Poppa B would sit and keep vigil until Momma B came back, then he would fly off. Momma B would open her beak and the little buggers would stick their heads into her mouth and feed. Boy did those little ones grow fast. Within two weeks they were so big that Momma B couldn't cover them anymore, but she was so careful to tend them, and kept them close to her. When they finally left the nest, they were kept under close watch by Momma B and if they strayed too far away, she would shoo them back under the hastas growing beside the porch. Too soon, the little ones left the toddler stage and began flying and took up roost in our flowering cherry tree. Her job finally accomplished, Momma B, who surprised us by being a slutty little tart, again nested in our flower basket and produced two more eggs, thus beginning the whole hatching cycle again. Last Friday, her second brood left the nest and stayed under the hastas. I watched them flit about on Saturday, and by Sunday they had both become expert pilots. I hear a lot of cooing coming from the flowering cherry, and suppose they are having a family reunion out there. I suppose Momma B is out plying her wares on some unsuspecting bachelor B and will come home to roost and expect us to welcome her back into the fold again. Well, we left the basket hang, dead flora, old nest and all. After all even "Birds of the street" need a place to call home.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Visiting "da Hube"

A few postings back, I asked all readers to please pray for my buddy "da Hube." Thanks to everyone all over the world who has been praying, Hube is awake and is now progressing towards full recovery. He has been moved to another facility in another city for intense rehab, and I went to visit him, along with Suse and Diva. (An aside here, we all sing together in a quartet)
Well, when we walked in, Hube was delighted. He gave each of us a hug and a high 5. He asked us what was going on out in the real world, and about each of our families and the general chitchat. The he began to talk about his near death experience. This guy actually survived a malady that up to now only has a 2 to 3% recovery rate. Making a very long story shorter, Hube is a changed person spiritually, and he shared that with us. He is so grateful to be alive. He said while he was comatose, he had awful dreams, but was also aware of his wife and daughter talking to him, but he was unable to answer. The cool thing about all of this is that he and his wife are going to write a book. He even asked us for some input when he starts this project.
We all cried together, laughed together, and guess what...we even sang together. Members of the hospital staff gathered in the hall and listened. We raised our voices in praise to the Lord. Hube hasn't lost his voice. He was able to hit those low, rumbly bass notes just like always. Of course we all would have sounded better with our accompanist, but we did alright a capella, too.
Suse, Diva and I all came away feeling better after seeing "da Hube" and knowing that before too long, we will all be together again on stages around our community sharing our music. Hube will be able to share his testimony with a new vigor, and we all will have another reason to be "raising the praise." Once again we have living proof that God is good, all the time.

Friday, June 09, 2006

My Vanity Runs Amok!

Today while showering I decided to once again grow my moutache and goatee. I do this once in a while, just to relieve the motonony of being over 60. Now, let me digress for a bit, and clue you in to the fact that I have lots of facial hair. But very little on the top of my head. I still have the "fringe benefit" but the topknot is really thin and I can see scalp. I am seriously thinking about trying the "Q-Ball" look. So back to the vanity thing.
I am thinking, if I would let my facial hair grow, use "Just for Men" haircolor to darken it, and then shave off the major gray on the top and sides, I would look younger. Not that my age bothers me, but looking even 2 years younger wouldn't hurt. I figure that if I try it over the summer, and I don't like it, I can always grow back head hair, shave off facial hair and then resume the same old look as before and my students will never be the wiser. If it looks good, and everyone likes it, the kids at school will think I am cool.
There is only one drawback! While the rest of the family will accept me any way I am, the lady of the house is being a bit resistant to the idea. I have to take this into consideration since she is the love of my life with whom I eat, sleep, make love, love and cherish, so I really want to keep her happy. I know that even if she doesn't like it or doesn't want me to do it, she will support my decision, crazy though it may be. I think she thinks I will look like I am ill. I figure that if I get out in the sun more, tan the scalp through what little hair I have before I shave it all off, it should work.
Oh what price vanity! Maybe I will just lose 30 pounds while I am at it! Yeah, right! This would mean me giving up chocolate. Me give up chocolate? Never!!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Letter G

Professor started this list making business. I got the letter G by responding to Maddogg. So here's my list of 10 words beginning with the letter "G" and what they mean and/or their relevance to me or my life.

1. Grandson: I have one. He is the nicest, smartest kid in the world. He has a fantastic sense of humor and is good looking. Obviously, he is the center of the universe for many.

2. "G-spot": A spot on your partner's body where they particularly like to be touched that makes them horny. I'll never tell where mine is, but I have one.

3. Group: A gathering of many really neat people. I sing in a group. I like group hugs.

4. Grace: The tenderness of God's mercy. I have felt it several times in my life, but especially as I grow older.

5. Gravy: A delectable, thick sauce that is poured over my favorites. Especially good is sausage gravy over biscuits, and of course, white chicken gravy over mashed potatoes. This latter has to served with corn. Just a little starch in a meal!!!

6. Green: The color of the outdoors. It should be kept outdoors. I hate green furniture, walls, and decor. Green plants inside the house are okay if somebody else takes care of them. Green is also the color of money. Who doesn't like or need more of it?

7. Grumpy: A feeling like I could pound the crap out of someone. Usually occurs when I haven't had enough sleep. I also get grumpy when someone takes advantage of me or someone I care about.

8. Grease: Could mean the oozy stuff you use to lubricate the important joints on your car. It is the stuff you drain off bacon and sausage. It is also the name of a really bad movie starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John. Greasy also describes almost all of the guys hair when I was a kid. "Butch Wax" and "Jeris" were two products we used to keep our D.A. haircuts in place.

9. Grand: As in piano. I always wanted one. I had one. It had a cracked string board, that would have cost a pretty penny to have fixed. So I got rid of it. Want another one. Someday I will have it.

10. Guilt: Being made to feel this really ticks me off. My kids always thought their mom was an expert at dispensing guilt. Like a Jewish Mother, only she is a Methodist. Guilt is something I feel when I sit on the porch when I should be mowing the lawn. But not for long.

Well, there is my list. For all 3 of my readers, I hope you enjoy. If you want a letter, respond to Professor, or Maddogg. I am sure they will be GLAD to GIVE you one. GOOD luck.