Friday, April 27, 2018

One thing leads to another

    

      Late Thursday afternoon my husband and I sat out on our front porch eating fresh corn on the cob.
     There. I grabbed your attention. 
      No, it really didn’t happen last week. 
     The part about eating corn did; yesterday it drew me back into a pleasant memory from last summer. 
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     There’s no better time to write about warm weather than when you and I are getting restless for an extended seasonal change that will remain more than a 30-minute spotting of sunlight if you are lucky enough to catch it.
     Like all respectable and well-bred Western New Yorkers, you know that a day over 90 degrees is a one-of-a kind gem. You will do anything to hang on to every single second. The more you can spend outside in the summertime, the happier your frame of mind index rises on the celebration scale.



     I don’t recall the rest of the meal, although I would suspect the meat or fish was off the grill and the salad greens came from our porch garden containers. A colorful array of food literally popped off the plate with a distinct wholesomeness. That’s right first-class living. 
     The sun wouldn’t set for 3 more hours and the laziness of the day seeped into our bones gladly interrupted from the energetic two boys down the road and their mother stopping by for a visit. The boys much preferred keeping active and riding their bikes on our asphalt driveway, while their mom geared down for a bit of catching-up with us. 
     Cars and trucks drove by beeping their horns reminded us that rural living is not as isolating as you might believe. Folks like their space, but when push comes to shove, they are there for one another. Our neighborhood is like that.
     Breaking the continuity of routine is healthy for the soul, and it revitalizes the possibilities for tomorrow – hopefully, a repeat of the weather conditions along with fresh salads and corn.



     Let’s get back to yesterday’s meal. 
     My husband rummaged around in the freezer and pulled a quart baggie of corn out of the freezer.  He’s the one in charge of rotating its contents routinely, and suggested that we add it to the beef stew for additional flavor. 
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     Suddenly, my ears perked up. 
     “Do you remember when we had corn on the cob in August and we had one leftover ear that you chopped up?” 
     My husband didn’t.
      Normally, we cook only what we can eat. If we do have leftovers, we’ll take advantage of them for a second meal. 
     I could visualize the whole corn on the cob scene as clear as day.  There is no reason why it came to the top of my brain when it did. Frankly, if you are in my age group, you are grateful you remember anything whatsoever of remote significance let alone what you ate 8 months ago. Ask me where I laid my car keys a couple hours ago…you get my drift. 
     While I cleared off the plates in the kitchen, he cut up the corn. One cold snowy day in winter we would pull this baggie out of the freezer and be thankful that we had spared a couple extra minutes back in the summer. 
     Those of you who do major canning or freezing understand exactly. All the hard work pays off year round, especially on a night when you are desperate for a meal and don’t want to go the route of fast food.
     Now my husband is the corn fanatic of the two of us, and he waits patiently for the signs on the highway to go up near our local vegetable stand. 
     I call it a summer ritual, and those announcements drive our lives with traditions like chicken barbeques and dandelions. 



      Similar to you, we have our preferred farm place – we love Rauber’s farm on Route 63 in Wayland - and we hardly deviate. If we do, we are right back there for the bulk of the season. They produce an excellent corn crop and are Johnny-on-the-spot with service when customers pull up to the stand. Besides, its location is convenient. 
         Local is best. When you take full advantage of what is offered agriculturally, you appreciate where you reside. 
     When we first married my husband would polish off a half dozen ears at a sitting, but now that’s not the case. 
     Like penning a quality piece of writing, less is often better. 
     Growing up on Eastern Long Island, selected farms were experimenting with Cornell’s bread and butter varieties. That was my favorite and I think I was most attracted to the unusual pattern of white and yellows. I could sink my teeth into juicy kernels and fill my belly almost forgetting to save room for clams.
      Something stuck in my noggin – or a tidbit of corn in my teeth - that connected to the little baggie of frozen corn. I joked to my husband that I could write an entire 900-word column on the topic if I so desired; furthermore, it wouldn’t be corny. Folks would relate to my piece and its few kernels of wisdom.
     He laughed, and knew I already was composing in my head while walking from room to room hunting for the car keys. For the record, they turned up in plain sight dangling from the front door lock.
     Like anything else, one thing leads to another and another. 
     
    


Friday, April 20, 2018

Local writer/blogger pens first fiction book



     After a lifetime of writing non-fiction, Kay Thomas has written her first novel, Pity Becomes You. It is the story of a woman facing dementia who has never dealt with the reality of life in the first place. Unfortunately the truth of who she is finds her in the end. 

     Parts of the novel are told from other people’s perspectives giving readers a sense of the scope of Vera’s problems. There is a story within the story layered and intertwined. Perhaps, there is a third story, too, reaching out for readers to discover.

 is found on Amazon in paperback and e book.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Mystery of the home invasion






     The grown-ups failed to investigate why the cat bowl was empty. It happened several days in a row.
    When the big people went to the kitchen the first thing each morning, no light bulbs went off in their heads.
     Something was very, very wrong.
     When the full story came out in the feline social media world, it was posted that the grown-ups in charge had bombed at detective methodology 101. They were put to shame with tweets and hashtags paws down condemning their inexcusable laxness.
     All those dozens of mysteries that the grown-ups had read over the years must not have sunk in to hone their sleuthing skills when decisive action was most needed during an emergency.
     Simply put, animals are predictable. Humans should know when something is not right with their pets and go on alert.



     Dickens, the sole tiger cat and ruler of the grown-ups at this particular house, has a habit. He leaves three to four pellets of dry cat food in his metal bowl as a “just in case measure” whenever he gets low on food. He’s been that way forever since he was collected from the Hornell Humane Society as a 6-week old kitten.
     What was going on?
     Dickens was not gaining weight. His bowl sat cleaned out daily.
     The grown ups never put two-and-two together, and certainly neither of them had a cat’s curiosity. Sorry, I couldn’t help tossing that pun in there.
     A neighboring black cat was in the yard howling during previous weeks and hanging out on the back porch making a general nuisance of himself. The big people tried to “shoo” him away to no avail. A search for his owners came up empty.  
     Dickens has one of those magnetic collars that allow him entrance through his magic “Harry Potter” pet door. He is used to running in quickly and going out at will at all hours of the night. He leaves behind his perceived enemies, and in the country, there are a lot of those critters roaming at night believe you me.
     Little Dickens, as he is often referred, weighing in at nearly12 pounds, is not one to have tons of cat and dog friends. That’s not his nature, and he doesn’t score high on the sociability charts. Most others in the neighborhood have lost interest in him and found other playmates.
     Not this particular black cat. He had a determined streak.
     Animals are opportunists. The black cat obviously had watched Dickens make swift entries and tried himself to get through, but to no avail. Possibly he almost made it on Dickens’ tail before the door slammed shut.
     He banged and rattled. He was a patient one, and finally wriggled at the door probably worn out after 11 years of use. and gained entry at midnight. That’s a perfect time for a black cat, right?
     There was another theory: the black cat also had a magnet collar.
     Dickens’ caregivers didn’t know how many days this had been happening.
     The black cat began coming in and out without a fight from Dickens, a peace-loving boy, who was providing sanctuary instead.
     Meanwhile, the grown ups slept through the home invasions without a notion that extra feet were walking on the carpet down the side hall to the kitchen for nourishment and back outside.
     One of the grown-ups insisted that their house had been compromised. There was an eerie feel about the place. The other grown-up couldn’t believe it was possible, but basically took measures to appease the worrier of the two.
     First, the grown-up put the trail camera in the kitchen aiming at Dickens’ food bowl. The first night Dickens came to his bowl twice. The second two pictures showed a darker cat munching away.
      How could that black cat have gained entrance? Neither of the grown-ups believed what they saw even though every move was recorded as proof.
     Finally, the bigger of the two grown-ups put the trail camera on the inside of the house aiming at the pet door, and set up a ringer to go off with entry. Using a cell phone app, activity could be monitored. The second grown-up got the “willies” at the thought of having a stranger lurking in the house.
     That night with the plan in place, the female of the two grown-ups could hardly sleep. Sure enough, at twelve o’clock the chime went off and the nervous grown-up bolted up in bed.  Low and behold, there was a video on her cell phone of the black cat coming in quietly and walking down the hall like he owned the joint. The one grown-up alerted the other grown-up.  
     Waiting for the perfect moment so as not to scare the cat too much and have a major fight on hand, the unafraid grown-up opened the back door. The cat fled. The scared stiff grown-up huddled in bed under the covers.
     The distressed grown-ups decided to take drastic measures. One installed a brand new pet door. The other informed Dickens that there would be a lock down after dark and he would no longer have freedom for his nightlife.
     The black cat tried to gain entry for a couple more nights, and then gave up. He wasn’t welcome anymore. Word must have gotten out in the neighborhood not to mess with those homeowners.
     Mr. Dickens is nothing worse for the adventure, and he is eating well now that he has the daily rations to himself. He’s calmer the grown-ups suspect, too, and is adjusting to staying inside. The grown-ups feel less threatened, too, by uninvited 4-legged creatures. Life goes on.



    







Friday, March 23, 2018

Things you won't read here



     There are certain subjects that I will never write on if my life depends upon it.
     Okay. That’s a slight exaggeration to make my point.
     Readers suggest all sorts of ideas to me, and I comply when I think that I am able to make a difference to a wider audience. It is very much appreciated, too.
     In other instances, I hold firm. Certain topics are off the table for one reason or other, which I will explain below.
     You might expect a column about advice on packing a suitcase. Wrong. I almost did once, and then I thought better of you. Either you are a traveler, and it might prove helpful; or, you simply have no interest.
     Besides, as for packing a suitcase, I never get it right like my failure to check my umbrella before I left for New Zealand – I put it away broken from the previous trip – and I packed a flimsy rain poncho. To top it off, at the last minute I took out my second fleece, and that was a huge mistake, too. I shelled out for new stuff on the trip much to my own annoyance.
     See. I’m no expert.
     Like the rest of you, I am an ordinary person who is always on a learning curve. I change suitcase types and sizes like a revolving door.  I roll my clothes or pack in cubes depending upon my mood. I bring way more electronics than I need. I run out of mouthwash.
    I can’t help you with jet lag either. I plan my sleep time on long flights – thank goodness for movies, too - and usually come out feeling decent enough to get by for a few more hours. A little walking in the fresh air helps, and also, not letting my mind take control over me.
    Then there is the subject of politics.
     Religion.
     Boy, could I have a field day with both topics and let my opinions out. Often I so want to express myself, and know that there is no place for it in my column unless I become edgy and controversial changing the whole direction of my writing from social commentary to contemporary analysis.
     You would either nod in agreement believing that you’ve got a cohort in me; or, you would fold the paper dismissing my ideas as too far left or right.
     If you read between the lines, you probably have me figured out.
     It’s not that I am a wimp and refuse to stand for my beliefs. There are too many folks that are afraid to express their views fearing attacks from others. They stay on the sideline. That’s not such a good idea at all.
     The newest world religion is no religion, and adding that to the major ones, toleration and acceptance is needed from our society.
      Politics and religion have become brutal topics everywhere you turn. People are mocked for turning to prayer in times of crisis, instead of helping find solutions. Perhaps, a little of both is in order.
     I might be more successful if I wrote a column on how to wrestle an alligator. I won’t do that just because…
     Nor would I write a column on advice to the lovelorn. Your guess is as good as mine on matters of romance. It’s all about our emotions and the timing, which is tricky, fickle and sometimes flawed.
     When I was a kid and radio was how I would spend time alone in my bedroom, I loved listening to the late night people in their soothing golden voices giving out free advice to lonely hearts. I wondered how sad souls could get themselves into such a fix that they were describing to thousands in the audience. Gently, the talk show host would settle them down and throw in a bit of help. Basically, I enjoyed the drama of it, and it helped my own creativity.
    
    Today’s reality shows on television are eye-openers, and I have no words.
     Then there is advice on finances. I wouldn’t last long at the newspaper either if I were to suggest to you what stocks to buy this week, and when to convert to bonds.
     I will say in general that you would be better off if you live within your means and save for the future.
     Anyhow, who listens to advice from a wise woman when you are twenty or thirty and waving around your paycheck? I cut it close when I was young, too.
     Another topic I could never write on is betting on a horse at the racetrack. My problem is that the horse’s name catches my interest, and that is way too simple a method. Studying the odds is way beyond my realm of expertise.  I don’t care to learn more, either.
     I remember how my father and the other merchants would congregate on the sidewalk at least once a day talking about the racing forms and baseball scores. Some of the men faithfully went to Off-Track betting or to the track. Dad devoured the numbers and made mental choices. It didn’t cost him a penny he would tell me.
     Lastly, I won’t write a column on health tips, how to hunt and fish, bird watching and gardening. The Livingston County News has those specialists writing regularly. They know what they are talking about and I read each one to learn from their knowledge.
         
    
    
     
    
    
    
    
    
    
     
    
    



Thursday, March 22, 2018

A surprise ending to an adventure



    
     When I woke up to torrents of rain pouring down outside my motel room, I was irritated. My mood plunged to the depths quicker than I could bat a sleepy eye.
     This is the wrong day for lousy weather conditions. I have come to view Franz Josef Glacier and I am staying in its namesake village.
     Yesterday as the bus drove into town, I saw a glimpse of Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain, and the one on which Sir Edmund Hillary trained for later climbs eventually leading him to conquer Mt. Everest. The snow-covered peaks dipped in and out of sight thanks to being surrounded by its own microclimate.
     I am psyched to be in this part of the world.

     Along with springtime winds come rain in the western part of the country, and it is the natural order of life here I am told by residents ‒ speaking of which, New Zealanders are the friendliest people in the world.
     One fiber artisan in nearby Hokatika laughingly remarks that she reads lots of sturdy books and forgets about the slight inconvenience of the never-ending drizzle.
      Franz Josef is a tiny town in the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand with a population of 330. The 7.5-mile temperate maritime glacier is named in honor of the Emperor of Austria and its terminal face is about 5 kilometers from city center.
     Our motel is bustling with international guests and one language after another spills out in the dining room like a percolating coffee pot. It’s pleasant to hear the blending of sounds and laughter while each of us fortifies on a hardy breakfast. Over 250,000 people travel to Franz Josef each year for the glacier alone.
       I vacillate between taking the three-mile guided hike lasting about two hours along the riverbed, or not. As of 2015, the valley walk ends at a lookout about 50 meters from the main terminal face of the glacier and the viewing is decent on clear days.



      I’ve seen magnificent glaciers in Alaska. Each is quite a sight and not easily forgotten.
     The length of the walk doesn’t concern me, and I have nothing to prove to myself.
     Clothing is not the issue. My dependable hiking boots have demonstrated they are waterproof-worthy on numerous other adventures. If they could get me through Ireland, then they would function here as well.
     Did I need to spend a couple hours in the rain sloshing through the uneven pathways? It could be very slippery, too, on the volcanic rocks scattered along the trail.  
     I am uneasy bringing my cell phone along for pictures. I should carry a waterproof pouch on trips for just such days.
     On the other hand, it might be informative listening to the naturalist point out the geological history of the moving mountain of ice. The glacier was still advancing until 2008, but since then it has entered a very rapid phase of retreat. As is the case for most other New Zealand glaciers, which are mainly found on the eastern side of the Southern Alps, the shrinking process is attributed to global warming.
     It is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
    I climb out of bed and observe the view from the window.  I can’t see beyond the road across from the motel. What’s the chance once I get to the viewing place that the glacier will be visible?
     Back into bed I go for a few more minutes. I snooze a little longer before checking my email. Still I haven’t made a decision.
    When I appear for breakfast the 14 others in my group are hemming and hawing so to speak, too. For various reasons most are going to start out, and see what the conditions might be further along the route.
     I decide to give it a go. I’ll rely on an umbrella and a walking stick, although I realize that both will be cumbersome.
     One thing I will not do is complain to others, or to myself, if I get damp, chilled and second-guess my decision. 
    As I start out in the wooded section of the walk, the knowledge I am hearing from the guide keeps me occupied. Well, I will admit I drift in and out of his words, and I blame it on the poor conditions.
     After his talk the guide tells us to follow the path and finish on our own. The terrain is out in the open now and clearly marked.
     What none of us realize is with the heavy rain, the river has changed course and our walk will turn out to be 5 miles instead. It’s probably a good thing I don’t check my pedometer.
    I walk and walk. I join one or two others for a bit, and then go on my own.
     Around the last bend a couple people returning tell me to don’t bother going further. I won’t be able to see anything. My immediate thought is that if I have come this far, I will do it to the end. That’s my nature. Almost is not good enough.
    Over one last low hill, up over rise and I make it with an extra huff and puff.
     For a brief couple minutes the rain lets up and the clouds open my view like an answer to prayer.



     I am one of the few on our trip who sees Franz Josef clearly. It is worth it. Fortunately, I get a trip buddy to take my picture to prove it, too.
    
    
          
    
    

          

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Thought for today, a tough one



At 5 pm I cried tears of sadness for those in Florida affected by the school shooting. Oh, how it hurt when I watched scared children running from what is supposed to be a safe place. At 9 pm I rejoiced with more tears at the outstanding personal bests at the Olympics, and I was overwhelmed at the years of talent and dedication to get that far. At bedtime I prayed for hope for a better tomorrow where mankind can put its efforts into solutions, and learn appreciation of others above all else. Do not be afraid for fear raises up as anger. 
#thougthtfortoday #aferriswheelofemotions  #anytownUSA

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Be nice, or go to bed!



 
    Every parent has made this statement in utter frustration at one time or another.
    Unfortunately, it is not one of those teachable moments either, and more or less makes little or no impact on permanently correcting a child’s behavior. You lash out first, and get nothing in the form of results.
     For starters, I will own up that I have borrowed this title, “Be Nice or go to Bed,” from a writer friend’s post on Facebook. He has young school age children, and I can picture what must have led up to that final snap. Two working parents, plus tired, fussy kids equal a significant meltdown including casting the puppy into the act, too.
     Maybe not. These particular parents are soft-spoken, intelligent and take their child-rearing seriously.   There might have been another whole scene playing out. Could company have been there, and children being children, have a way of getting in each other’s hair at the wrong time? Brothers and sisters are like that.
     I can surmise all I want. I’ll leave it at that.  
     The further you get away from raising young children, the more you can laugh over those words and say to yourself, “been there, and done that.”
     Which puts me in that category of battle fatigued older adults with much sympathy for my younger friends with kids.
     Just to make it clear, the writer gave me permission to use those words, too, since the phrase caught my attention and made me chuckle.  Those of us that write are sensitive to gently reusing other people’s words verbatim. Personally, it’s a line I will not cross.
     From here on out, I am on my own with this column.


     
      You should know better. That’s my second least favorite thing to say to a kid.      
     You’ve shouted that phrase out, too, and wished you could take the words back before they are out of your mouth. Don’t deny it.  
     Idle threats are useless. How’s a child to know whatever it is they are suppose to know if they aren’t taught right from wrong?
     I used to yell at my daughter at various stages in her life, “you’ll never learn.”  Well, she did.
     Or you’ve threatened to take away the device for an ungodly amount of days until you realize what an impossible task you’ve imposed. You’ll be the one to suffer as the meany rule giver and now you’ve added more gray to your already dulling hair.
   Play fair.
    Children’s work at school learning to socialize and often this comes in the form of play. There are rules to be followed.
    As adults, we’re the ones to set a good example. Members of Congress haven’t gotten it yet, but then I might go off on a tangent and get political. Not going to do it.
     Life isn’t fair.
     How’s that going to help your bawling child when he comes running off the bus having lost out in a spelling bee?  A few hugs and kisses while listening is the better medicine to swallow when disappointment rears its ugly head. It comes more often than not, too.
    Be good and everything will turn out fine.
     Hah. It doesn’t take a child too many years to figure out that statement is a simple lie and adults can’t be trusted to tell the honest truth. Kids are a lot smarter than we want to give them credit.
    I’m going to tell your father (mother) when he (she) gets home.
     That was ringing in my ears all my childhood until I figured out that I could save myself by rushing down to my father’s store a mile away to tell him my side of the story first. My father would hear me out, and call my mother to get her view. I didn’t get away with much obviously. My parents were on the same page.
    Savvy modern parents favor talking issues through with their children, and giving them time out. Those paddling’s of yesteryear are nowhere in vogue. You and I could debate that one, too.
    ‘No’ means ‘no’ for real.
     There was a decade where parents questioned if saying ‘no’ to a child would harm his little psyche. There were workshops on how to say ‘no’ to your child and build healthy minds. I don’t think “the feel good” way of child rearing lasted too long.
    Recently I was in a restroom at JFK airport and a mother was busy applying some refreshing make-up while leaving her preschool son to his own devices.  Like any unsupervised child that hasn’t had discipline much in his life, he started pulling paper towels off the roller and laughingly throwing it on the floor in clumps. I looked over at the mother and she wasn’t paying any attention to her child.
     I had a couple choices. I could ignore his behavior, or get involved. I knew I would be taking the risk that I would get told to mind my own business, too.
     You can guess the choice I made.
     I firmly said, “stop it.”
     The boy looked up at me like he was hearing a foreign language. He checked his mother for her reaction.
     Mom’s soft-spoken reply,  “don’t do that,” was useless in my book. I walked out. Some battles can’t be won.
     I watched the squirmy boy later in the terminal and he was one handful. I went back to my computer and ignored him.
     In a decade where there is an overall lack of respect for traditions and other folks, combined with a general casualness about life, let’s make a correction back to the center.
    
    

     

Sunday, February 4, 2018

A little ordinary comes into a day


The other afternoon when I decided to take a walk with my camera,  my plan was to take photos of ordinariness. That is a harder task than you would imagine. What's plain, simple and ordinary? 
Perhaps, I wasn't in the right frame of mind and my thoughts were roving all over deep into the writing that I left sitting on my computer. 
When I returned to my front porch, my camera perked up and started shooting images of leftover remains in the garden. Perfect. It was right in front of me and I didn't need to do any tampering or manipulation. 
Things have a way of falling into place.  




Friday, January 26, 2018

Making a run for it



     Two days ago when I told my husband that I was going to run to the grocery store, he asked me if I was planning to sprint back, too.
     Duh…Cute of him to shock me into realizing that I use run in a literal sense constantly.
     Truthfully, I was afriad the supermarket would have a run on toilet paper before the impending storm.
     It’s a favorite phrase. And favorites often get overused. It could be that my husband was reminding me it’s time to change my expressions up a bit.
     Women are forever running on 4 cylinders here and there from one minor event to another and there’s no curbing them.
     Thinking back how that phrase got in my vocabulary, I have my mother to blame. She’s not around to defend herself, either. 


     Speaking of that, if I were to say that I have a run in my stocking, that would date me back to nylons, garter belts and the 50s. Those were the days before panty hose and now, mostly leggings, or no hose whatsoever depending on your style.
     Clear nail polish was a staple in every woman’s bathroom closet, and could do the job in an emergency – stopping the run from more damage, that is.
     Along with imported linens, my father sold nylon stockings in his store on Roanoke Avenue. He had boxes and boxes of Hanes Hosiery – before Hanes created L’eggs packaging - stacked neatly in sizes, colors, lengths and yes, textures running the length of a whole wall.
     I would marvel how he mentally could run through the size every woman on the Eastern End of Long Island, and could turn around and pick exactly what each woman needed from the shelf. That was back in the day when you were waited on in a store, too, and you got personal attention without running your own interference.
     Our dentist would run in the day before Christmas and buy two-dozen boxes for his secretaries. Stockings were not cheap, and women had to buy from specialty shops or department stores. After he left I would query my father as to how he knew each of their sizes. He told me that was part of his business practices to know those things, and for me not to be so nosy.
     In case you have a wrong opinion of my father - eyeing women inappropriately and running fantasies in his mind - that was far from the truth. He simply was a good salesman who knew his stuff.


     When I was on a recent trip in Palm Cove, Australia I sat out on the terrace sipping a glass of fantastic white wine with my fellow travelers. I decided to run a bar tab to save the hassle. When I was checking out, the manager waived my account all because I was inconvenienced with no hot water for showering – there was a run on hot water - earlier that morning. I wasn’t expecting that gesture, but it left me with fonder memories of the location not that I’ll ever return.
     Then I’ve never been running as from running from the law. My LA family would often sit the half-hour before the evening news came on watching live car chases on the freeways.    My vivid imagination could run through a lot of likely scenarios being played out.



     When we had that hot spell for a couple days and snow was melting, the creek by the side of our house was running nonstop. It didn’t overflow over our two walking bridges, and our house is high up overlooking the water, that we were safe.
     That very morning in the pouring rain I made a run for it to the car for I mistakenly chose a jacket without a hood. One should never be without one in this fickle weather you see. I’m not much of a runner –sprinting, yes – and I barely made it.
     Once I was in Juneau, Alaska at the right place and at the right time of year for viewing the salmon running upstream to spawn. It is quite the sight, and one of nature’s marvels that I will never forget.
     If I could count the times that I nearly let a boiling pot of water run over the edge, and at the very last second, I rushed to the pan’s rescue for dear life as if I was saving the world from a major flooding, then it would put me in the Guinness Book of Records along with you.
     I’ve tried my hand with watercolors. The colors often bleed and run over the paper, or in the wrong direction, if you are a rank amateur such as myself. It’s so unpredictable.


     Remember in our youth how you and I would run on fumes to the next gas station in a challenge with our passengers?  Once a bunch of us was getting low on gas as the sun was setting in one of those western states with the wide-open spaces, and nobody ran his mouth unnecessarily until a gas station was spotted on the horizon. My heart can’t take it anymore, and I keep my gas tank filled.
     Some of you might know that I am running – along with a competent board of trustees, director and staff – the Wayland Free Library and we run a great series of events. Check us out. The library runs its schedule in the newspaper and on Facebook, too, with the specifics.
     It’s best to stop running my mouth  before someone runs me out of town.