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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Up, up in the sky

This is half a repost from 2013. But, it began yesterday, in the gym. Kristen had me working away on biceps or triceps or some such, and I looked up and further afield. I knew that back! I jumped up, Kristen following, and went around front. He’ll be more presentable when his wife objects to the beard, but it was Doug. His therapist objected when I focused my phone, but Doug said “It’s OK. I know her. I even like her.”

The first line is a link to the first post, notable mostly for links all over the township. The original story was a lot of fun, so skip on through to it if you like.

At work I went looking for the road guys, to get some paperwork signed.  Down the hall, through the road office, through the road garage, until I spotted them through the open bay doors, out in the yard, looking up, up into the sky.

You know I think the world of these two men.  Tim, the road super, who saved the sunflower from the Memorial Day parade last year.  The sunflower that Doug, the road assistant, and I were charged with watering the week Tim was on vacation.  In one day we nearly baked the poor thing to death, but Doug set up an IV drip of chicken shit water and Sunny was revived.

So, I found Tim and Doug looking way up, and I looked around too, but only saw three planes and their contrails. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is about twenty miles northwest of the town hall, and air traffic is not an uncommon sight.  As I remarked.

“Do you ever wonder if they will crash in the sky; look how close those two are!”

No, I’ve never wondered that, as air traffic controllers are in charge. 

A little disappointed planes in the sky did not fascinate me, Tim added “We’ve seen the President’s plane go over.”

“NO WAY! How did you know?”

“Fighter jet escorts, one on each wing.”

Having the Fiscal Officer suitably impressed, Tim added “Doug’s even seen numbers in the sky.  Tell her, Doug.”

An embarrassed Doug was prodded into his story.  Driving with a buddy, they both remarked on the striking cloud formations ahead of them, clearly, remarkably forming three different numbers.  No question about it, they both saw them and said them.  “We should play those,” Doug’s buddy said.  “Waste of a buck,” Doug said.

At the next gas stop Doug filled the tank and looked around for his friend, who came out of the station folding his lottery ticket.  He’d played the numbers pick three, boxed.  He advised Doug to go buy a ticket.  Doug called him an idiot and they got back on the road.

You know the end.  The buddy won $790.  Doug’s not seen numbers in the sky since.

The sky, yesterday. That perfect blue; a June sky in October.

And, Doug got his new knee. He fought it for at least three years. Now, he'll probably go back for the other knee.

Friday, October 20, 2017

How do they do it?

Years ago, when first appointed township clerk, I kept the old schedule. Up, up and away, out the door when working people leave. Eventually I realized the post office doesn’t start putting mail in the boxes before nine, and my morals began slipping. Thirteen years later I often was guilty of retrieving last week’s mail today.

Recently, over the last year or so, I’ve been asked to get up early a time or two, or three. Set the alarm sorts of early. When I’m down under the covers, I can tell the time by the car sounds. “That car leaves at eight, that car is pretty soon after. That one is before nine….” But why get up?

Once I could be up and gone in half an hour, and no one ever knew I cut it that close. It’s no fun drying your hair in an open window breeze below freezing, but….

Now leaving takes an hour, and generally more. I’ve tried telling the cat I’ll take care of his room when I’m back, but he’s not buying it. I can’t estimate the time, anyway. I’ve cut back on sitting and staring out the window, but that still sneaks up.

This week, and I’m including last weekend, has involved plenty of alarm setting. Delivery of the kid to her aid station last Saturday, to pass out water to runners in none to full Viking regalia, for the Viking Dash—quarter, half and full marathons. Full regalia includes a lot of fur.

An eight a.m. doctor appointment this week necessitated the alarm, as did an eleven a.m. appointment yesterday. Too many alarms; I remember sleeping, or not, the night before last. And last night, Kay called for a “tremendous” favor. Would I come over and let in the mouse exterminator at eight a.m. this morning. Why not?

Today, physical training at eleven. Lunch with Ann at noon, and send her back on her power drive from Wisconsin. I see she’s not becoming younger either. She stayed over at a friend’s in Indiana. My nap will happen until Laura comes home from school, before early delivery for band inspection for an away game, during which I will drive to the far end of Hudson and retrieve her best friend for an overnight.

Tomorrow someone will get the two of them around ten, for the drive to Haunted Cedar Point. Their return drive leaves at closing, midnight. I need to calculate what time to get up to return Victoria to her home by ten a.m. on Sunday. Oh, yes. Laura is visiting her siblings on Sunday; and on Sunday night we are going to Kay’s to schedule out their (Kay and Laura) Fall Hiking Spree.

My calendar is fairly vacant for next week, except a lot of sleeping, and forgetting the mayhem of the past week.

G'ma, France and Ann, a life time ago. Fifteen years, anyway.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


I read Al Franken’s book. Senator Franken. I have a lot of respect for Minnesota, including electing Franken. It’s wrapped up for Ann for Christmas. I read “Behind her Eyes”, for book club next week. Mark Twain said, I think in “Letters from Earth”, and I’m loosely attributing here, if you have a character and can’t figure out what to do with him, take him out back and push him down the well.” That will be my only remark on this book. Sadly, not only will no one get it, about twenty four of twenty five will be offended.

I haven’t pulled the zipper on Hillary’s packaging yet. I have Henry James “Portrait of a Lady” on my MP3 player, but cannot bring myself to go in and start sewing charity quilts again, and listening. I think I’ll buy a boxed set of Joyce Oates. Maybe I will buy a bookcase, though I swore off book collecting.

When you’re flying somewhere for Christmas, it makes more sense to ship the presents. Our carton isn’t full yet.

Laura asked me if I liked peach cobbler. Of course. Well, she thought she would make some. Do we have peaches? Oh, yes, she bought them at the market. Everything she cooks comes from Google. I simply have no kitchen cred, and was stunned when she asked if there was a good way to peel peaches, besides “peeling” them. Sadly, she bought no fuzz peaches, and had to peel. I told her about boiling water/cold water and skin slipping. That will be next time. So will brown sugar and sweet biscuit dough. But they were almighty good, irrespective. I went out in search of vanilla ice cream while the cook labored.

It’s Monday. Nowhere to go, nothing to do, so I drove to the post office to mail what could be mailed from home. I forwarded an insurance company letter to the Red Bus attorney. Not touching that with a stick. And, I mailed my on sale genetic test kit. Since I will never know why my grandfather married my grandmother, I’ll see how Irish I really am. The testing company divides Ireland into roughly four tiers, and I know I’m the top tier (Donegal) and the bottom (Cork). Or, am I?

I picked up my accountant, walking up the road, as she always does, and gave her a ride to the post office. I thought how I used to love driving around the township, taking pictures and posting them on the township website. No one seems to do that anymore. The only person who ever thanked me for the pictures was the husband of my troublesome trustee. Another unmissed bit of my job, though not by me.

I passed this Mennonite couple walking up the road. So unusual. See how they are in step. Beautiful. The husband had a pole, and I cannot imagine where they fished the bag of fish the wife carried. Or where they lived. I offered a ride, but was turned down.  I asked if I could take a picture. Only of their backs, and thank you for asking.

The only other picture worthy subject was on my favorite abandoned road, Wetmore. So, I came home and talked to my BFF, Carol, for an hour. “Carol, you spent your career in pharma. When will this end?” “I don’t know, Jo, I don’t know.”