The Permanent Family Record
Writes The Gram With a Thousand Rules: “As I have mentioned before, my mom was not a particularly inspired everyday cook, but we all enjoyed her baked goods. Maybe her cookies and pies didn’t melt in your mouth, but they were always nice and chewy.
“They were quite a contrast to my Crabby Grandma’s pies. Grandma’s pie crusts were flaky, and she sprinkled way too much sugar on top of them — but still, we ate them and dutifully praised her for how tasty they were. Grandma thrived on compliments, couldn’t get enough of them, but all of us kids really preferred Mom’s pies.
“Mother never stopped being amused about my oldest sister’s description of her pie crust. When Ruth was about 3, she was eagerly snarfing down a piece of apple pie and allegedly told my mom: ‘I like your pie crust so much better than Grandma’s. Your pie crust is just so . . .’ — pause — ‘. . . so durable!’
“We all liked her apple pie with the hearty chunks of apple, but my dad’s favorite was her lemon meringue pie.
“My sister took this picture of Mom as she was taking one of her (as my dad always described them) delicious lemon pies out of the oven.
“Hmmm, possibly Dad liked her lemon meringue pies best because they had just one durable crust?”
Then & Now
John in Highland: “Subject: What This Country Needs . . .
“Everyone knows that the best place to keep baseball cards is in an old cigar box. ’Most everyone also has stories about the thousands of dollars worth of baseball cards that they had, but lost through the years. If only they had held on to them! I can still picture my stack of my dad’s old cigar boxes up in the attic, and remember how I left them behind when our family moved to a different house.
“I have finally convinced my sons that they should use some of my old cigar boxes to hold their favorite baseball cards (and mine).”
Keeping your eyes open
Early Morning Edition
Monday email from Wayne Nelson of Forest Lake reports: “Subject: Sunrise on 3-15-21.
“For the BB readers who missed the beautiful sunrise this morning, I was able to catch it for your eyes to view.
“This picture is un-retouched as it came right out of the camera. Absolutely beautiful!”
Our times (Pandemic Division)
Plus: Lost . . . and found!
Both from Kathy S. of St. Paul: (1) “Subject: Jerusalema Dancing.
“Christiane Amanpour ended a recent program by talking about the Jerusalema Dance Challenge. Versions of it are all over YouTube, though I haven’t noticed many U.S. ones so far. It is a kind of line dance, often socially distanced and with the dancers wearing masks. I love the ones of kids in Africa, though my current favorite is:
“Via Zoom, I told folks from my church it would be fun to dance to this when our church gets back together. They pointed out that we will want to dance to about any song when it is safe to reunite. They are right.”
(2) “Subject: Finding riches.
“Today I fumbled my driver’s license in my car. It slipped between the driver’s seat and the console, and became invisible. I moved the seat forward and back, with no luck — though I did find 44 cents and a battery that needed recycling. [Bulletin Board interjects: “No luck”? You found four pennies — and picked them up!]
“By this time, I was planning to hire a kid to look for the card. And visualized being pulled over by a cop. I would need to explain that I had a license, but it was somewhere in the front of my car under my seat. Then I saw it leaning vertically against the car console, and grabbed it. Yay!
“Now, to get or make a gap filler for the space between my front seat and the console. It will probably take more time to describe it than to buy it.”
Another episode of creative hearing, reported by The Mambo King: “I was watching The Players golf tournament on Sunday when the commentators made mention of Lee Westwood’s caddie.
“My wife, the lovely Ms. Goody One-Shoe, looked up from her knitting and after a second or two said: ‘That’s not Beyoncé.’
“‘No,’ I replied, ‘the caddie is his fiancée.'”
BULLETIN BOARD MUSES: That’s his Storey, and he’s sticking with her!
This ’n’ that ’n’ the other
A trio from Al B of Hartland: (1) “A caller told me he wasn’t getting a vaccination. I hadn’t asked. He said it was because he didn’t know what was in it. That didn’t concern me, as I’d just eaten a hot dog. Who knows what was in that?”
(2) “Spring is one of my favorite four seasons.
“Weather does its own thing. It was a beautiful day. I’d have enjoyed frolicking in the lovely weather, but needed to go inside to see some good folks for maintenance, so I could continue to take up space.
“I needed my appointment card, so I put it in my pocket. When asked to present that card, I discovered (not quickly) that it had mysteriously moved to the last pocket I searched. I was glad I wasn’t wearing bib overalls. My father favored the bibs — Key or Oshkosh B’gosh. The newest one was the one he wore to town. Those overalls had a pencil pocket, a watch pocket, two side pockets big enough for lunch and a bullhead, a pair of back pockets to hold a wallet and a farmer-size hankie, a pliers pocket and a hammer loop. If I’d been wearing bib overalls, I’d still be looking for that consarned card.”
(3) “A small flock of rusty blackbirds showed up in the yard. Johnny Cash should have thrown a bit of brown into his wardrobe, because that color combination sure looks good on a rusty. The birds slogged through wet areas at the edge of our woods, searching for food. I don’t imagine they’re picky when peckish in March.
“A rusty blackbird looks like a blackbird that is rusty.”
Out of the mouths of babes
Michele Monfils reports: “On video chat, my 4-year-old granddaughter was showing me all her gymnastic tricks. Then she wanted her dad to try
“After giving it his best, the red-headed sweetie quipped: ‘You are not paying attention.'”
Maybe just about almost not quite exactly what (if anything) they nearly had in mind
Donald: “Subject: I want something more definite!
“I do not find very convincing the TV ads for a product that supposedly improves memory. Why? Because the people giving the testimonials are too vague when indicating how long they’ve been taking the supplement. It’s ‘just about,’ ‘almost,’ ‘approximately,’ ‘a little more/less than,’ ‘nearly,’ or some other term to convince us that it really does work. (Who knows how good an elephant’s memory is, anyhow?)
“Wait — what was I just talking about?”
When Irish eyes are smiling . . .
Gregory J. of Dayton’s Bluff: “Subject: Tree o’ green.
“I discovered an obvious problem while planning to decorate a St. Patrick’s Day tree: There aren’t a lot of St. Patrick’s Day ornaments available. Be that as it may, I was able to find a few things that would work; plus, I raided my Christmas ornaments for anything green — and here is the result.”
Everyone’s a copy editor
Here’s one of the Twin Cities’ leading copy-editors-without-portfolio, The Retired Pedagogue of Arden Hills: “Subject: Gleanings from recent newspapers.
“A number of items from the local press:
“— Sometimes it’s almost too easy. From the tops of the front pages of both Twin Cities dailies on March 10, in reference to the Vikings’ release of placekicker Dan Bailey:
“Pioneer Press: ‘KICKER GETS THE BOOT.’
“Minneapolis paper: ‘VIKINGS GIVE BAILEY BOOT.’
“— Say what? Headline on Page 13A of the 3-11 edition of the PP: ‘World’s biggest party is goes antisocial’
“— Birds before humans? Headline on Page C3 of the March 15 edition of the Minneapolis paper: ‘Some Pelicans receive vaccines.’
“Oops — it’s in the Sports section. My bad.”
Please release me!
An earworm reported by The Doryman of Prescott, Wisconsin: “Subject: Where do I begin . . .
“. . . to tell the story of my ann-u-al checkup?
“While at my health-care clinic, a haunting piano solo played over the music system. The theme from ‘Love Story,’ while a beautiful melody, seemed a tad ominous to me in that setting. It didn’t noticeably affect anyone else that I could tell, but then most of them weren’t old enough to even see a PG-rated movie back in the ’70s. If you remember it as well, there are plenty of opportunities to hear it again on YouTube, but if you do, prepare for humming it at least for the rest of the day.”
BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: Recommending an earworm means always having to say you’re sorry (even if you aren’t).
Our theater of seasons
Mounds View Swede: “Subject: Spring ‘guests’ photos.
“I noticed three tom turkeys walking by our house this morning and quickly got my camera. One of them seemed to be the ‘leader’ and always kept his tail feathers erect and fanned out.
“They worked their way slowly up the street, so I went back inside to finish getting started for the day.
“I went about my morning ‘business,’ and awhile later my wife saw them in our back yard now. And ‘Tom’ posed nicely for a front view.
“When I looked out a back window, there were now four turkeys, with a hen added to the group. I wondered if the main tom was the dad and these three were chicks from the spring.
“I liked this pose, with the side lighting brightening the tail feathers and wing tips extended down. With his chest all puffed out and feathers displayed, it made me realize how many things a turkey can do just standing there.
“A side view shows the wing tips and back feathers, plus two odd-shaped upper back things — supports?
“They worked their way across the back yard looking for things to eat. I assume acorns might be a food?
“This photo shows a wing opened up more. It still looks pretty complicated to me.
“The hen made it to the fence, then followed it towards the back, slowly finding things to eat. I stopped looking at this point, and in a few minutes they were all gone.
“Their leaving was as mysterious as their arrival. We live about 100 yards from a more wooded area, and perhaps that’s their home.”
Where we live
Helena Handbasket reported, late last week: “Subject: The season.
“Optimal butter-spreading conditions achieved in the 608 area code. The saltine did not break.
“Hooray for spring, no matter how brief it may be.”
Band Name of the Day: The Red-Headed Sweeties
Website of the Day, recommended not by us, we hasten to point out, but by Kathy S. of St. Paul (WARNING! Horrible Earworm Just Ahead!): “Subject: A little dark humor about shingles.
“I heard of this jingle about shingles, in case anyone wants something different to worry about:
“I got shingles shots, so hopefully I won’t get shingles.”