Life as we know it
Kathy S. of St Paul: “Since retiring, I have been addicted to the TV show ‘The View,’ on which women of different backgrounds discuss issues of the day — though I hate it when they ‘talk over’ each other. Those with hearing loss or who are ‘slower,’ etc. have trouble understanding what is said. But more importantly, I was so schooled to not interrupt people in conversation that I sometimes mute the TV until they stop the one-upmanship.
“This morning, a topic was the tension people are feeling about current events, and a woman referred to Watergate — when they said people were similarly upset, though they watched the news only once (or twice) a day.
“They forgot about people listening to radio. My grandmother was born in 1882 and was legally blind, so she listened to TV and Radio Talking Book at home all day. Once the Watergate hearings started, they dominated both the radio and TV programs so much that she turned them off. She was scared that our country was falling apart — possibly because she remembered the Great Depression, when violence during strikes, etc., raised similar fears. That broke my heart, because I was especially close to her.
“My other big memory of Watergate was on the day that President Nixon resigned and left the White House. I was a substitute librarian for Minneapolis Public Library back then. When President Nixon’s speech was announced, the library announced that there would be a TV on in every branch library for those who wanted to watch the announcement. I was working in Webber Park, my favorite branch back then. Only one person showed up to see the speech: a very well-dressed woman who didn’t want to talk to us or use the library. She said she didn’t want to be alone as she listened to his resignation. Once it was over, she left.
“On 9/11, I was again a substitute librarian for Minneapolis. I saw the second tower fall, on a TV set outside my polling place for a primary election that morning, so I arrived at the Lake Street library planning to turn on a TV set for patrons. The day before, the head librarian had told me that I would be the only librarian for much of the day because he would be in meetings, so I was somewhat in charge.
“What I found was that the only TV set hung from a wall in the meeting room, which was in use for the election. Anything remotely political is banned from polling places. I turned to the Internet for news and found that the Internet worked as designed — though slowly at times. Only three people asked about or mentioned 9/11 that day, and only in the morning. I wondered if I thought it was a bigger deal than others did, but eventually I realized that people were there to get away from TV news through books and DVDs.
“The next day, a group of 11 year-old boys came to that library, and the teacher told me that these kids, many of poor and minority backgrounds, were afraid that their school would be attacked. I tried to reassure them.
“One advantage of older age is that you may see the ‘rest’ (or at least the next stage) of a story — and know that things work out. Right now, that can be reassuring.”
Our theater of seasons
Papa Whiskey writes: “Here’s who I saw on my walk around Lake Como today: first wood ducks and turtles.
“Lifts my heart to see these creatures again!”
The Permanent Neighborly Record
Family Feuds Division
Wednesday email: “My name is Sara McCoy, and I have owned a townhouse in Highland for over 11 years.
“Last fall, I started to think about selling it and buying a single-family home in the area. One day I spotted a Realtor promoting herself on Facebook by the name of Rosie Hatfield. I had never met a Hatfield, and thought it would be funny to reach out to her about her being my realtor. She, too, thought it was funny to work with a McCoy.
“We set up a meeting and clicked right away. She lived nearby and knew St. Paul very well. My townhouse sold very quickly, and a short few weeks later I had a purchase agreement on a new single-family home — right behind the alley from Rosie’s home!
“So not only can Hatfields and McCoys do business together — they can also be friendly neighbors!”
Immutable Laws of the Universe
Refrigerator Division (responsorial) (responsorial)
“The bride and I often choose to dine out on major holidays, rather than travel to distant places to join family members, and last Thanksgiving was no different. But we both enjoy turkey leftovers, so we generally buy and prepare a small turkey to sate our snacking cravings while home.
“Now, many years ago, when the family was bigger, I bought a white china turkey platter. We have others (a red china one and a metal one, and a white plastic one), but it’s the white china one that gets used most often because of its size and elegance, and the bride wanted to use it last year. Problem was, I couldn’t find it. I searched the whole house — every logical and illogical place it might be; no luck. I think she ended up using the red one, but the thought plagued me ever since: Where’s the white platter?
“We went to a funeral in February. The man was a vet, and after Taps, his bride was given the folded flag. It made me think: Where had I placed Dad’s flag? I came home and searched. I haven’t found it yet (although I’ve narrowed its location down to a particular steamer trunk), but in an old dresser drawer, under my Navy dress blues, I found the white china turkey platter. How it got there will always be a mystery, I guess.
“Now to find Dad’s flag . . . .”
Gee, our old La Salle ran great!
John in Highland: “My parents’ favorite supper club in the ’60s and ’70s was Diamond Jim’s in Lilydale. When relatives from out of town would visit, this was the place that they would take them.
“Who could forget the young waitresses flying overhead on swings?”
The vision thing
Or: Not exactly what she had in mind
Christy of Menomonie, Wisconsin: “My brand-new socks came in colorful patterns of paisley pinks, turquoise blues and swirls of purple designs. They were guaranteed to provide support with style.
“They delivered on the support side, but the color choices I ordered had an unfortunate, unintended result. Whenever the socks peek out from below the cuffs of my jeans, it appears that I am sporting the most vivid, most colorful varicose veins on Earth!”
Everyone’s a copy editor
Carp Lips of Wyoming (“formerly of Hastings”): “Today’s Pioneer Press article on the Wild’s latest loss explained the frustration of battling back from a two-goal deficit, only to lose in overtime, as ‘It was all for not.’
“Whoa is me.”
Our plants, ourselves (responsorial)
Wednesday note from The Doryman of Prescott, Wisconsin: “Subject: That tomato sprouted this potato.
“The sprouting tomato in today’s Bulletin Board reminded me of a college roommate who absolutely would not, could not even look at or touch a sprouted potato. I just Googled the description of this irrational fear. I did not find it to be a specific phobia (perhaps a sympathetic spinoff of Lachanophobia) but I did get startled by this: https://munchies.vice.com/en_us/article/growing-vegetables-in-your-body-cavities-is-all-the-rage
“TMI? Google is the modern-day Ripley’s. Enjoy!”
Sally, the Cleaning Lady of Shoreview: “A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
“’The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make its home for life. For this task, it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds its spot and takes root, it doesn’t need its brain anymore, so it eats it. It’s rather like getting tenure.’ — Daniel Dennett, philosopher, writer, and professor (b. 28 Mar 1942)’
“Found in A.Word.A.Day.”
The simple pleasures
Including: Everyone’s a (candy) critic!
IGHGrampa: “This evening, I was overcome by the chocolate urge. I was watching TV at the time, so you can probably guess where I got it.
“Der frau’s car just happened to need gasoline, so that was an opportunity for a good deed.
“The corner store has a good selection of all the things that are bad for me. At the candy rack, I walked back and forth a couple of times looking over the selections. First off, I got a Mounds: dark chocolate and coconut, two of my favorites. The chocolate on the outside could be a little thicker. The coconut provides moments of enjoyment later, when I find bits of coconut hiding back in my cheek pouch. I found a big Snickers two-in-one bar. It actually has four-in-one stuff: chocolate, peanuts, caramel and nougat. I can hardly wait to bite into that. Then I chose a Salted Nut Roll. I know it doesn’t have chocolate, but it’s so big and peanutty, with nougat to hold them together. I read something interesting about it once. Here in the Midwest is the only part of the country where it’s popular. Figure that out. [Bulletin Board speculates: The Salted Nut Roll is a Midwestern product, proudly made in St. Paul, by the Pearson candy company. Are other Pearson’s candies popular elsewhere?]
“At the counter, I got some of those truffles. There are three colors of wrappers for them. I got a couple of each, although the truffles all taste the same. One was white chocolate, but that just means they left the food coloring out of one batch of candy mix. I had one of each, and they were so good.
“Oh, I got some gasoline, too.”
Band Name of the Day: The Chocolate Urge
Website of the Day: “The Hatfield & McCoy Feud”