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.

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.

Black Friday & Anti-Locavorianism

Himalayan bath oil… New Mexican firewood… Contemptuousness for all things local.

Acceptability achieved for brief awkward moments when narrow confines of passions intertwined.  In ancient times, called establishing commonality.

Same actors, same roles, encore performances.  No conversation topics off limits.  Everyone knew where they fit on the political, social spectrum–no boundaries were crossed.  What would have been the point?

Bargains perused, for participants in post-holiday shopping frenzy.

After a satisfying breakfast together, content to be left behind.

 

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.

Why Can’t I Get An Answer?

After being gone for an extended period of time, I tend to get reflective.

Elvis Presley’s “Why Can’t I Get An Answer?” still plays in the background of my head.

What was important to remember from the last three weeks?

Perhaps most important, is that, there aren’t always answers–only more questions.

Dignity can’t be taken away unless we allow it to be.

Confidence in one’s self goes a long way. I learned the hard way.

I hadn’t been around little ones for a long time.  Young children’s minds were like little sponges.  They watched everyone and everything around them.

Things will never again be like they were in my youth.  And, some of that’s a good thing.

Someone, once said, there is more work done before and after vacation, than at any other time.  I can attest to that.

 

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.