What is wrong with people?
And: What is right with people (Juvenile Division)
Rusty of St. Paul writes: “We are up to our yin-yangs in snow, making travel down some of our St. Paul streets into one-lane affairs.
“Whenever somebody pulls over to let me pass, I give them a thank-you wave as I pass by. Whenever I pull over to let someone pass, my guesstimate is that fewer than half of the people give me a thank-you wave (fewer still among the pickup drivers). This has been going on for a number of years, actually.
“It is not at all hard to give a friendly wave, even while keeping your eyes on the road. For those of you not waving to me, please know that I am saying (well, maybe with some sarcasm) ‘You’re welcome!’ as you drive by.
“But how about the young fellow, my guess is a 5-year-old, who stepped up to open the heavy library door to let me in? I was dumbfounded a lad that young would do this for me (and be able to handle the heavy door). His parents have done a great job raising him. I know in 10 years he will be waving ‘Thank you’ when somebody pulls over to let his vehicle pass.”
BULLETIN BOARD MUSES: Oh, we think St. Paul will get the streets plowed by then!
Our theater of seasons
We have heard, once again, from Mounds View Swede: “The deck railing was well decorated with the fresh snow . . .
“. . . including the uprights. The wind seemed to be mainly from the north, so only one side of the uprights had any snow on them.
“One of the front-yard trees showed the same, though the wind got some on the sides and back, too.
“Snow on the roof and some warm sun equals icicles! I like how the light makes a line from top to bottom in the ice.
“One of the drippier spots made some icicles on the railing, too.
“While visiting my friend on Lake Owasso, I noticed this well-decorated tree out in front.
“And the nearby cherry tree still had some fruit on it along with the snow clusters.
“The upper branches were well coated in snow.
“Back home, our storm door had fresh frost lines on it. Apparently I do a lot more wiping near the bottom of the pane, and though no lines were visible after cleaning it, Jack Frost found them anyway! I still enjoy the clusters of frost
protruding from the wipe lines.”
Our birds, our fathers-in-law, ourselves
Plus: Till death us do part — leading to: The great comebacks
All from Al B of Hartland: (1) “My father-in-law, Gene, gave me a bird clock in 1997. It’s a ticking field guide, featuring audio from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and images of the birds. A different songbird gives voice at the top of each hour. The bird singing at noon is a house finch, an American robin sings at 1, northern mockingbird at 2, blue jay at 3, house wren at 4, tufted titmouse at 5, Baltimore oriole at 6, mourning dove at 7, black-capped chickadee at 8, northern cardinal at 9, a white-throated sparrow whistles at 10 and a white-breasted nuthatch heralds 11 o’clock.
“Darkness deactivates the sounds, allowing sleep. I know when I hear the house finch, it’s either time to eat or to go to bed. When I hear the Baltimore oriole, it’s time to eat or to think about getting out of bed. When I hear the chickadee, it’s time to smile.
“I had a cuckoo clock in my youth. We weren’t fancy people, but an aunt gave me a used discount cuckoo clock that took a few hours off each day to rest up so it could utter a sound as if it were choking on a peanut-butter-on-Wonder-Bread sandwich.
“I’d miss the sounds of those birds if the clock my father-in-law gave me wasn’t hanging on a wall of my home. I miss my late father-in-law. It helps to listen to his birds.”
(2) “I watched a red-bellied woodpecker take a position at one end of a platform feeder and a pair of blue jays at the other end. It was a showdown. One jay flew first. The woodpecker grabbed as much food as it could and left. I’m sure the remaining blue jay declared itself the winner.”
(3) “Dialogue from a marriage:
“Man to wife: What’s wrong?
“Are you sure nothing is wrong?
“Do you really want to know?
“I guess not.”
(4) “So there I was on a November day in Alaska. I was watching a brown bear catch salmon in Chilkoot Lake. I watched from a safe distance as I showed the bear to a couple from New England. The woman was interested but uneasy. Her husband tried to assure her: ‘That bear is more afraid of you than you are of it.’
She responded quickly: ‘If the bear said that, it’s lying.’”
Life as we know it
The Next Chapter Division
The Gram With a Thousand Rules: “Subject: My Very Own Apartment.
“I am in a time machine, but one that is in retrograde. I just spent a pleasant half-hour after dinner chatting with three new friends in this Assisted Living Place. It brought me back to 62 years ago, after we had moved to the suburbs, when the neighbor ladies would get together for coffee after we had sent our little ones off to school. I have made several nice friends with the widows here, and I will miss them after I move over to the Independent Living Building. They have assured me that I will be only a block away and we can still get together when the weather permits walking again.
“I had really hoped I could spend the rest of my life in our comfortable home, but after the kids grew up and moved away, we really had more rooms than we needed, and we spent most of our time in our Family Room. That was my Happy Place, with the bay window, the fireplace, and the bookcase with my favorite books, so when I saw the floor plan of my new apartment . . . well, I was floored (pun intended). If I had drawn a plan of the features I would like to have, I couldn’t have done it any better. The Living Room is approximately the same size as our Family Room, with a bay window in one end, and it is open to an 8-by-10-foot U-shaped kitchenette. The bath has a large walk-in shower, and the bedroom has a walk-in closet; plus, there is a stacked washer-and-dryer in the hallway.
“Every feature I could ask for is enclosed in nearly 800 square feet. It will be so easy to locate my cane when I misplace it.”
Today’s helpful hint
Help! I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up Division
It comes from JJS of Maplewood: “Subject: Self-help if you fall.
“The other day, my husband stumbled and fell in our kitchen. I wasn’t strong enough to help him get up, and he couldn’t kneel on his artificial knees.
“Remembering an idea an old friend gave us for people living alone, he scooted on his butt over to the top of the basement steps. He put his feet on the second step down and, using the hand-rail and door frame, was able to get himself upright.
“If you have good arm strength, the stairs could also help you get up if you’re at the bottom instead of the top. Scoot yourself over to the stairs, and boost yourself up one step at a time until you are high enough on the steps to be able to pull yourself up by the railing.
“Go try it before you need to do it.”
The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon (self-responsorial) (responsorial) (responsorial)
Triple-the-Fun of Lakeville:”Gregory J. of Dayton’s Bluff recently submitted some photos of old gnome statues he has stored in his basement. He said there are plenty more statues, if anyone is interested.
“Yes, please! I’d love to see what quirky old statues he has that people may have wanted to grace their front yards 70 years ago.”
BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: Seconded!
Gaining something in translation
The Doryman of Prescott, Wis.: “Subject: It makes perfect sense now.
“At an age too young to be left at home alone, back in the ’50s, I was packed up and taken along by my parents to frequent card parties. Canasta was a popular game back then, and I spent many boring Saturday nights watching cards played and melds tallied.
“Little did I know that 70 years hence, I would be taught the origin of that card game’s name while waiting in line to check out at Walmart.
“Leche/milk, canasta/basket — the Spanish language has a different word for everything.”
CAUTION! Words at Play!
Including: Life as we know it (Post[?]-Pandemic Division)
Kathy S. of St. Paul: “Today my church ended the Christmas season by celebrating Three Wise Men. It is fitting that a dad gave the homily, starting with a dad joke about the gifts of the Three Kings. The punchline? ‘But wait! There’s myrhh!’
“Of course, one woman raised a prayer of thanksgiving for all the Wise Women who would have brought the Holy Child practical gifts like milk, diapers and onesies.
“After church, we had hospitality, including a Three Kings Cake with jelly beans in it. The girl and two boys who found jelly beans in their pieces of cake became Royalty for today, complete with paper crowns.
“It was so nice to see kids in person, reviving traditions from before the shutdown. And to remember that, despite our recent heavy snowfalls, we are one day closer to Spring.”
Could be verse!
Come Again? Division
From Eos: “Today I have a plugged-up ear,
“which makes it very hard to hear.
“Did you just ask me for a beer,
“or did you say you saw a deer?
“Did you say you are seer,
“or did you say the end is near?
“Let’s stop our conversation here . . .
“because it’s very hard to hear.”
Out of the mouths of babes
Or: The Permanent Granddaughterly Record
Vertically Challenged reports: “My granddaughter Adriana, 7, has had a very hard time losing her two front baby teeth — trying several techniques, but afraid to pull them herself and would not let anyone else near to yank them out! Despite just dangling there very loosely for at least three months each, they persevered and clung tightly!
“Now, a month after finally losing the second one, she had a bottom tooth loose. Here we go again!
“Every year for Christmas, one of the main things on everybody’s list is my homemade Chex mix. While enjoying their shipment of this ‘delicacy,’ N.Y. Daughter relayed to me this conversation, after hearing this from the other room:
“‘All I hear is WHAT THE HELL! I said WHAT!??? She said, I almost swallowed my tooth! I didn’t even feel it, and I was munching on it wondering why the Chex mix was so hard, and spit it out, and there was my tooth!’
“So glad I could be of help with that this time, Adriana! Now instead of falling teeth, going to have to watch your mouth for falling language!) 🤣”
The darnedest things
WARNING! Cute kid story ahead, from Kathy S. of St. Paul: “You never know what a kid will say. At Le Bullseye today, I said ‘Hi’ to a child in his mom’s cart. He cheerfully informed me that they were in the store because he had properly used the toilet at day care, and he would now get a toy. I complimented both mother and child on his achievement.
“As Art Linkletter used to say: Kids Say the Darnedest Things.”
BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: As a matter of fact, Mr. Linkletter didn’t say that; he said that kids say the “darndest” things. We’ve never understood the basis for that spelling — and have been amazed, over the years, by the number of Bulletin Board contributors who have adopted the Linkletterian styling of the word.
Band Name of the Day: The Choking Cuckoos
Website of the Day: How to Play Canasta