The Good Old Days (A Clear Path to the Outhouse)

A post, based on one from five years ago, to mark the beginning of this blog’s sixth year. Most early posts, in my opinion, were quite dreadful.

Were the “good old days” really that good? There were fewer creature comforts. No one had air-conditioning. Half the town had outdoor plumbing.

Imagine the joys of trotting to the outhouse on cold, snowy, winter nights.  Summers were worse, with flies, stinging insects, and the horrible stench.  You became accustomed to the sounds of mud daubers building their nests; knew not to disturb them.

Nobody knew any different. Somehow we survived. Keeping perspective–gasoline was 20 cents per gallon, unless there were gas wars. A sack of candy could be had for a quarter. Consumer goods were cheaper.  Wages were considerably less than today.

Would I want to go back? The answer would be a resounding, NO! I like my creature comforts too much. There is no way I’d want to revisit years of teenage angst.  I wouldn’t want to restart this blog–either.

I would like, however, to recover time wasted worrying over things, I now know weren’t important. That, and a renewed appreciation for the things I have–that could be taken away should times take a bad turn.

Buying & Selling (Happy Fifth Birthday)

To sell something, you need to provide something people want. “Don’t give away the store; 1% of something was better than, 1% of nothing.”  The relationship between buyers and sellers was tenuous at best.

Where were the hidden gold mines that enticed on the net? Engineered to appeal to insatiable appetites for excessiveness–“real deals,” “hidden money,” “little-known paths to prosperity.”

New!  Improved!  With less hyperbole, more content!  Congratulations are in order on this blogs fifth anniversary.  I’m more surprised than anyone.  I have plenty more to say, so keep reading and commenting.

Taking It Easy

Out to breakfast at my favorite diner. There seemed to be a lot on this blog about dining.

That should come as no surprise to those who know me. I like to eat–it’s a challenge to enjoy fine dining and stay healthy.

Preparations need to be made for an extended trip out of town.  There’s still plenty of time.

This Father’s Day, I’m content to take a back seat–watch children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. If they attain success, then I’m happy.

It Wasn’t Being Disrespectful

Yesterday, was Memorial Day–a day for most folks to go to the beach, have a picnic, take the day off; enjoy life in general.

Not so, in my case. I did repairs on my barn’s fascia boards. At my age, I don’t do heights and climbing ladders, as well as I used to.

Help, was solicited from a friend, planned a few weeks ago. He came with help, the job completed promptly and competently.

It’s on me to do caulking and painting–which I can handle. Too tired to do any barbecuing, my spouse and I went for take-out, last evening.

Sleep came easy.  One problem gone, on to the next challenge.

My “To-Do” List For Today

What to do today?  There’s a disparity between what should be done and what will actually get done–like always.

My big brother’s 70th birthday is upcoming on May 26th.  This is indeed a milestone for my precocious older brother.  He was blessed with the gift of gab that I never had.

Yesterday, was the dogs annual check up.  I need to clean out the car, reconfigure it for human passengers.  It’s always a fun experience.

I was chided by the Vet for passing out too many dog treats.  Max’s fun car ride ended, when he saw we were outside the Vet’s office.  He kept trying to jump back in the car.

Were the car windows ever dirty on the inside from nose and paw prints.  The windows got an thorough cleaning inside and out.  Just in time for my wife to make a trip to the grocery.

What Sisters Were For

Max is now seven.  He’s gotten a bit chunky, has slowed down; grunts when he rises or lays down.  A characteristic he adopted from his daddy.  Maggie, his canine sibling, is six–shows no signs of slowing down.  She goads him until he plays or grooms her.

Every morning we go for a walk.  Max isn’t as eager to go–especially in warmer weather.  Maggie is relentless, “C’mon brother, get up–it’ll be fun!”  She nudges-finally lays down beside him and rolls him over.

Max grunts, accented by intermittent snoring, “Let me sleep, please.”

He relents and out the front door we go.  Max rebels, the only way he knows how.  At the end of the driveway, he stops, sniffs the air; turns around.  “OK, I’m done, take me back to the house.”

When Maggie and I return, Max is once again ready to go.  So, I take him on a shorter walk, as time permits.  Maggie did her job by pestering her somewhat laggard older brother.  She’s mean to Max, but he still loves her.

Miracles

A construction truck loaded with gravel, piloted by Fred, with Al riding shotgun, growled around two uphill “S” curves that led into suburban Prestwick Hills.

“Remember the first time you tried skipping stones?” Al said out of the blue.

“What brought this on?” Fred, answered his question with a question.

It would be a good day if civilians stayed out of their way.  That was the only thing civilians were good for–getting in the way.  That and not being very smart.

Civilians were surprised when items were stolen from their unlocked cars.

They planted trees, shrubbery in utility right-of-ways.

They were surprised when unleashed pets disappeared from unfenced backyards.

Old retired people and young kids hung around—asked too many questions.

Highly polished, telescopic, hydraulic cylinders raised the truck’s dump bed.  Fred advanced the truck slowly to spread the gravel.  A skip loader redistributed the rest.  The dump bed lowered with a hiss, and thump.

Fred and Al caught up paperwork under a nearby maple tree, followed by a short break.

Boom!! Chunks of dirt flew, sparks and acrid black smoke ran along a nearby chain link fence.  Decorative fence caps launched into the air.  The old man gawking from Lot #17, looked a little sheepish.

Locating buried utility lines wasn’t an exact science.  The bulldozer operator severed a buried electric feeder cable.  Visibly shaken, but unharmed, he stayed with his machine, until the power company arrived on scene.

If any work got done after this, it would be a miracle.  Small miracles happened every day.