Little Spies

It must have been a challenge for parents to hide Christmas presents. Some things were more difficult than others–for example new bicycles, sleds.

As adults, our children confessed to finding hidden Christmas presents, unwrapping, and carefully rewrapping them. My parents several decades before, had different options.

They hid presents at grandma and grandpa’s large, two-story house. The most sneaky, was when mom hid presents at one of her teacher friend’s homes, ten miles away.

Mother’s sense of humor came through one Christmas. Our family had a tradition of letting us kids break the wishbone of turkeys or chickens. We happened to raise chickens.

Gathering eggs from setting hens could be hazardous. They guarded their eggs, at all costs, and pecked anything that came their direction.

Freshly killed frying chickens were a real treat in summer. It was crowning point of a home-grown feast, presented when the local pastor came for a visit.

Wishbone breaking rules: The participant with the shortest piece, after both sides of the wishbone bent to the breaking point, was the loser. My older brother incessantly protested his lack of participation opportunities in the contests

It must have tried mother’s patience one too many times that summer. That Christmas, carefully wrapped, box within a box, within a box was a wishbone, marked with my older brother’s name. It was all in good fun, but my brother missed the point.

Turn Back Time

Time: One of the most talked-about subjects in the world.

How many songs have been written about the subject? How many movie scripts?  Too many for me to count. I don’t have that much time.

Did I want my state to go on daylight saving time year round?

Did I want my state to stay on standard time year round?

What was I going to do with the extra hour gained when time fell back in fall?

The same silly, tired, internet questions. Did anyone believe they were gaining/losing hours in spring and fall? There are still 24 hours in a day.

No, I didn’t wish my state to make either of those choices. Why? Because I reside near the borders of three states. What a mish-mosh it would be, were they in different time zones? Because, in that case, time would not be on my side.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a time savings bank?  It would be, but there isn’t.  Most of us would be overdrawn, anyway.

I’m Glad It’s Over

Asked the same litany of questions by different medical personnel. The pre-surgical nurse, the anesthesiologist, the admissions clerk. It had to be a test. Would I slip-up and give inconsistent answers?

“Have you had any surgeries before?”

“Only, if you count my tonsillectomy 57 years ago.”

“I don’t remember much about it, after all these years.”

“I can tell, there aren’t many entries on your medical records,” The charge nurse commented.

“Yes, I try to avoid invasive medical procedures–be they from space aliens or medical doctors,” I answered.

“You won’t feel a thing, once the anesthetic takes hold. It will be like going to sleep.”

I thought they would never find a vein to hook up the IV. Of course I had to wear one of those “fashionable” medical gowns, open in the back. Luckily, I was lying down covered with a blanket.

In the operating room, I waited while the staff kibitzed, and time stood still–at least it seemed that way.

An older man with gray hair came in and things got underway. It was my doctor. I didn’t have my glasses on, recognized him when he came closer.

“Lie on your left side,” Ordered the surgical nurse. “The anesthetic may burn when it enters your IV.”

That was definitely an understatement. I had a round plastic mouthpiece for the procedure.

“That hurt bad,” I attempted to communicate to the nurse.  “Don’t worry, soon the pain will go away.”

What a refreshing nap. I wanted to continue sleeping. The fog in my befuddled head lifted.  There was no one around. This wasn’t the operating room.  Somebody had some explaining to do.

It was the recovery room. The process was over. For having had an upper GI, I was none the worse for wear–except for a swollen lower lip.  Which is black and blue today.

Samples taken for biopsy will take a few days for analysis.  I was sent home with the doctor’s report, complete with color pictures of the inside of my stomach.  Not something I cared to share with friends.

Where Have You Been?

I’ve been away from home for two weeks, that’s where. Visited the state of Tennessee for two days, the rest of the time in Illinois.

Visited friends and family. Always enjoy visiting the Great Smoky Mountains.

There are many retail outlets across the country offering classic cars for sale. Not all at reasonable prices. Nevertheless, one such outlet, is Country Classic Cars, near old Hwy 66 and Staunton, Illinois.

I’ve passed by this place many times without stopping to look. This time, my brother, my nephew, great-nephew and I, took time to visit for a couple of hours.

There were several vehicles of interest. Some offered nothing. Especially, the vintage Cadillac Eldorado car body, mounted atop a four-wheel drive truck chassis. All I could ask, was why?

A ’54 Ford Crestline sedan, and a ’67 Ford Custom sedan, reminded my brother and I of our parent’s cars during childhood. There were “wars” over who rode “shotgun”–which was rare, because mom and pop usually occupied the front seat.   Losers sat between two brothers in the back seat.  Mom and dad intervened, if the struggle went too far astray.

The rest of the trip was taken up with carrying a friend, and daughter back-and-forth to the hospital on two different days. One for a routine cat scan, the other for elective surgery.

As I age, 765 mile trips each way, to our former home territory, become more difficult. Health may not allow this in the future? Changes may have to be made?

Wouldn’t it have been nice to have the vintage ’57 Ford pickup, just to tinker with, and drive around the neighborhood?  Like myself, it seemed to be in good shape for its age.

While Waiting

A beautiful sunny day at a busy intersection. Businesses at three of the four corners. I was waiting at the auto repair shop on the northeast corner.

The posted sign gave an 8:00 AM opening time.  Opening hours were relative. I walked through the open doors at 7:45. Greeted by office staff, agreed on a fair price for services, went to the waiting area.

Auto repair technicians showed up at approximately 8:00 AM. Customers began to congregate at the front service counters. One was an independent taxi driver. Another, a construction worker, with a flat tire on his work truck.

Traffic at the intersection frequently backed up in all directions. Which was the reason for the city policeman’s visit. He had a good sense of humor, necessary during our gabfest.

“Officer, I want you to arrest these guys. These guys are trying to rob us.”

The policeman got down to business. He was there to see recent security footage, concerning an auto accident investigation.

“We’re taking orders for lunch,” The cab driver offered the policeman.

“I hope to be out of here before then,” Said the construction worker.

The group came to the conclusion, video surveillance made it difficult for spring breakers to get away with mischief. Another member of the informal discussion panel related s story about spring breakers cutting holes in the walls of their room–to access adjacent rooms and wreak more havoc.

“After that, there was no way in heck, they got their security deposits back,”

Nobody liked the idea of $6.00 tolls each way, on the new bay bridge. Once tolls were set, they never went away.

Discussions ended for me. My car was ready. It had been 1 1/2 hours. That wasn’t a bad wait.

And In Other News…

Cuteness Overlords
The Quail You Say
Quite Another Organic Matter
Why Everyone Doesn’t Like the Same Old Things
Ceramic and Other French Poverty
Lemon Venom–What a Phenomenon
On That Farm He Had a Dog–D-A-W-G
Keeping It Down–Testing Gag Reflexes
Awaiting Dreadful Fall
Stashed Away In Drawers
Think Backward From One To Ten
Science Behind Everyday Appliances
Invisible Solar Eclipses
Seize the Moment Midstream
Another New Wrinkle
Headlights and Other Illuminations
Behind the Scenes, Seldom Seen