The weather here has abruptly gone from quite warm to uncomfortably chilly. It was still dark when I woke up this morning, and I went back to sleep. So I’m late.
Don’t expect too much from me today. I will do my best, I will give it all I’ve got… Oh, to be a lad of 60 again!
(Go to the bank. Go to the store. Start typing new chapter set. Generate blog posts…)
I need a couple of grandchildren. Now I understand why Grandpa was so happy to have us around. Oh, he loved us–but we also came in very handy on days like this.
It’s seven years since I first posted this. Yes, I still have all those dinosaurs! Only now I don’t care how much money I could get for them. They ain’t goin’ nowhere!
Your Old Toys Are Worth Big Bucks
Most of my family has passed on; very few of us left. Little gifts that grandparents, aunts and uncles, and my mother and father gave me… well, sorry, but you just can’t put a price on that.
Handling my now-expensive Sphenacodon, I can almost reach back and touch the summer of 1960.
Something stirred one of my very earliest memories.
My parents went away for a weekend and took me with them. I was either four or five years old. My brother was still a baby, so let’s say four.
We went to what I guess now was a rented house somewhere in North Jersey or upstate New York, in farming country. I don’t know what my parents did all day; but there was a stone wall in the back yard and I sat on it, playing with my toy horsies and making up adventures for them…
And explaining it all to the cows!
See, I wasn’t lonely because on the other side of the wall was a pasture and I had company the whole time I was there–three cows who hung out with me. I petted them. I told them all about my toys. I told them little stories I made up (my father, my grammie, and my aunts told me stories all the time, and I imitated them). They were the nicest cows you could imagine–although I don’t know, maybe most cows are like that. Suburban kids don’t get a lot of experience with cows.
But that little bit of experience I had, I treasure.
I hope I meet those cows again someday. We have a lot of catching up to do.
This is what our sidewalk looks like today.
I take Patty to the hospital for her rehab. Here, the tree service is camped in the middle of our parking lot, sawing down most of the trees. All right, some of them are in bad shape and like to fall.
Back to the hospital to take her home. The session has made her cheerful. By now they’ve got trunks and limbs all over the place, so instead of getting out of the car in the parking lot, Patty takes the sidewalk. Damn. It’s blocked by sawed-off branches. Going around it she slips and falls, making a mess of her elbow.
Now it’s started to rain. Thunderstorms are predicted. I can forget about getting any work done on my book.
We’ve cleaned up and bandaged Patty’s elbow. I offer to take her back to the hospital. No thanks. To the local walk-in wellness center? No, she doesn’t want that either.
Please drop a prayer in the box for us.
Update: So we did decide to go to walk-in wellness after all, and guess what? No doctors or nurses working there today! I guess we’ll try again tomorrow.
Michele asked for this hymn–How Great Thou Art, by Home Free. I can’t hear this song without remembering my mother and my aunts singing it as they went about their housework. How I miss them! But “in my Father’s house are many mansions”–and Our Lord Jesus Christ has prepared a place for us (John 14:2).
I’ve always liked toads; they have a lot of personality and make pretty good pets. Here’s a toad demonstrating one of the secret techniques of Toad-Jitsu–burying himself in sand to elude a predator.
The biggest, fattest toad I ever saw was camped out under the electric bug zapper by night at the Sea Spray Motel, Beach Haven–snapping up every bug that fell onto the shuffleboard court. Did he have it made, or what?
The second-biggest were the ones in Aunt Louise’s garden: “hoptoads,” she called them. Something about her garden really drew the toads. Well, she was an awfully nice lady. Toads pick up on that.
I remember my mother singing this hymn as she went about her housework. My grandma used to sing it, too. I Need Thee Every Hour, sung here by the Mennonitce Hour Singers. Background sets by God the Father.
Forty-five years ago it was, 1977. We were both working for The Bayshore Independent at the time, Patty as bookkeeper, me as managing editor. We were going to go down to Elkton, MD, and get married. So I asked our employer for two days off.
“Can’t you do that on your vacation?” he replied querulously (always wanted to use that word!).
“It’s not like I get married often,” I said. So we got the two days.
Fancy circus wedding? No, not for us. We got married in a little chapel and then went fishing. Steamed crabs for supper that evening at the old Howard Hotel. With the kung-fu class going on upstairs. Heee-yah! Thump!
Yes, it’s Anniversary No. 45 today. Thank you, Lord: for all the goodness in our lives.
First things first! We have a hymn for you, requested by Erlene–How Great Thou Art, sung by Alan Jackson. My grandma, my mother, and my aunts used to sing this as they went about their housework; this hymn is rich in memories for me.