“Enter when you will, take what you need, leave something of yourself when you go”
I have a friend I met over a bottle of scotch in a Brandywine Valley bed & breakfast some odd years ago who travels constantly and widely, sending me bits and pieces of the world as he goes. Each picture contains a sense of mystery, or surprising humor, and/or most likely the bicycle he rode in on.
I forget where he said he shot this wide planked shack. It is intriguing, don’t you agree? The sun and scattered leaves promise it is a bright, brisk day, yet, I wonder what musty odor fills your nose when you poke your head through the door, what scurrying varmint lives in the corners, what fingers grab your ankle once you cross the threshold and the heavy door slowly shuts out the light, the long, strong boards slide through the door handle locking you inside…
… you go first…I am right behind you…
Once, years ago, when broke, but determined to build my library, I started buying up $1 “classics” and bargain books. $1.00 was the limit. One such book was by Philip Roth, which I THOUGHT was entitled THE BEAST. I thought, aha! Some gothic, psychological tome by a master of the absurd.
When I got home, and pulled it out to read, I realized the correct title was THE BREAST! uhhh?
HILARIOUS! This man who loves women’s breasts one day bursts, his bones disintegrate, his legs, arms, head submerge, and he BECOMES an actual breast… he is taken to a research hospital to live his life in a hammock HAAAA… he was a college professor, so he thinks he can grade papers, if someone will read them to him (his eyes are lost somewhere in the flesh)… he is highly offended when people cannot take him seriously, and spend their time laughing. It was a surprising, great read I’ve never forgotten.
So, this morning, on news of his death, I lift of my cup of coffee to Philip Roth, Author Extraordinaire…life well shared, stories well told…when we miss him, we can read his books, and imagine he’s sitting in a chair across the room waiting for the laughs….
The Great British Baking Show has captured my attention.
I am oft unsure just what they’re making. What IS a spotted dick?
Four types of sponge, self saucing cake, and I must not fail to mention
Pork pies, fruit pies, crispy, tasty biscuits, all making a hopeful sick,
If Mary Berry, or Mr. Hollywood miss a judge’s favorite trick.
Paula has the job of keeping Ted fed.
She always makes a healthy meal before Ted goes to bed.
Sometimes she cooks up pasta in a luscious tomato sauce;
Sometimes a juicy tofu pie, egg washed to a high gloss.
Ted tells us all how wonderfully she masters every meal.
So we all try to visit once a year an excellent meal to steal.
written whilst watching the Great British Baking Contest… I do think they are picking on Norman, whose goodies quite good to me.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE TALLEST OF US ALL!
Tick, tick, tick, tick …
I do not like the looks of a tick.
The looks of a tick make me quite sick.
I do not like how a tick can stick,
Stick, stick, stick, stick until you flick it off your arm.
I do not like that a tick can bite,
Bite, bite, bite, bite until your sticky blood runs warm.
I do not like a tick bite itch
Itch, itch, itch, itch until you pitch a royal fit.
A royal fit because a tick bite made you itch.
I do not like ticks, not even one.
I do not like ticks. They are not fun.
I do not like the looks of a tick.
I do not like how a tick can stick.
I do not like the bite of a tick.
I do not like that ticks make me sick.
I do not like ticks, it is true.
I do not like them, how about you?
I freely admit I totally dislike every single tick. They drive you to distraction; some can make you sick.
You do not always notice them, until they’ve burrowed in. You scream and slap and scrape and scratch, wearing your skin quite thin.
Brush your hair? You’ll find them there.
Hike across rocks; find ticks in your socks.
Ticks will show up any place, behind your ear… right on your face.
They hitch rides on your winter jacket, hiding in the closed front placket.
Those moving freckles on your arm? Brush them off before they do you harm.
Ticks will drive you crazy, that is really quite certain. Just stand in the middle of the room. Avoid touching any curtain.
Carry a book of matches wherever you may go to burn them off, blow them up, stop their blood flow.
Ticks, ticks, ticks, ticks…the bane of pine tree forests. Spray your oil, rub your skin, make sure you get your rest.
You will need it if you live with ticks.
note: need to work on the meter
I stopped for a quick taco
One wicked, frigid night.
I sat in my car to eat it,
Heater on, snug and tight.
I stared off into space,
Not thinking ’bout very much
Until my eyes focused
On a sight that made me clutch.
There was a man
Across the parking lot,
Kneeling on the ice,
Hammering at a single spot.
He wore only a hoodie,
No gloves, no hat, no coat.
It really made such little sense;
Where was his winter coat?
I sat there watching while I ate,
My muscles getting tense.
And as I sat there wondering,
I began to take offense.
This man, this freezing person,
Had been sent to chip the ice
Off a front parking spot, with a hammer –
a Hammer!… to chip the ice!
He was unaware I was watching.
He just did what he’d been told.
I figured his manager was a dick,
To send him coatless into the cold.
I did not say a word to him.
He never looked toward my car.
I started it up, and drove away,
just down the street, not far.
I went into King Soopers,
Bought Ice Melt and winter gloves,
Then drove back to the fast food place
Everyone knows and loves.
I pulled up very near him,
Hauled out the bag of Melt,
Then handed him the gloves,
Unsure just how he felt.
He took them, and he turned his back
As he pulled them on his hands.
I saw his shoulders shake before he turned again,
Opening the bag, tearing off the bands.
I wish I’d had a heavy coat
To keep him warm and well.
I wish I’d stormed back in the shop
to give his manager hell.
Instead I headed off to home
With just a small, quick wave.
He waved back, then back to work.
It’s a good memory to save.
In this day of loud resistance, screaming protests, major demonstrations, it is easy to think you have to do something big to make a difference. Sometimes, though, one person can do the most for another by just being aware they are there.
Life can be hard…look for ways to soften it, eh?
At age sixty six
Employment still defines me.
Weekends ever rock!
Anna visited with her Pop and Mom when she was almost two.
She wobbled around and chattered away just like R2-D2.
Early one morning after she settled in,
She warbled she wanted Pfoops-pfoops.
“What?” we said, laughing out loud,
“Did you say that you like Poop-poops?”
She frowned, then shook her head and pointed her tiny finger,
“No no no! PFOOP-PFOOPs! PFOOP-PFOOPs!”
We really could not get it, thinking she was making a big oops.
She sat down, looked up at her Mom who calmly explained,
“She just wants her Fruit Loops.”
Anna is all grown up now. I wonder if her darling daughters eat Poop-poops, too?
There lies the rub — how to pull the tale together.
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
One hundred forty six people dead in fifteen minutes.
One hundred forty six,
Mostly young women
Some children and men.
Not all burned, some jumped, some smashed,
as people stood below and watched.
to be continued