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.


Thursday, January 11, 2018

A warm highlight in Iceland

Happy New Year 2018. 
Editor's note: This article is written after a December trip to Iceland. 
    When you don’t second guess yourself, you come out for the better. Here’s my story.
    Quickly assessing my body’s overall condition from head to toe, there’s a noticeable dull throbbing from intermittent sleep. A pretzel is a more accurate description as my limbs unpeel themselves from resting in an uncomfortable economy seat for so long. My breath is stale and bed head is the best I can do with my appearance. That’s not an ideal prospect for the start to a brand new day. 

    Without any further fanfare, my husband and I get off the plane in Reykjavik, Iceland, at 6:30 am after a five-hour overnight flight from New York. It’s dark and no one notices. Thank goodness the press wasn’t alerted.
     The plane is full of sleep-deprived people anxious to hit solid ground and stretch their legs. I notice that the tourists like myself are bundled up in heavy down coats, hats, boots and gloves. On the other hand, the Icelanders returning home are in lighter jackets, sneakers and hatless.
     We step into predawn air, and surprisingly it is nowhere as cold as when we left Rochester the day before in a steady snowfall. Rochester was the land of Arctic tundra compared to Reykjavik with mild 30-degree temperatures. Ah, those hardy Icelanders expect you to deplane outside on steps, too, year round.
     After passing through customs – no hold-up for me today – my husband and I head over to the Fly Bus to take our excursion to the Blue Lagoon, a tourist favorite.
     It’s too early to expect our hotel room to be ready and this tour seemed like a cool idea when I booked it back in July. Previous travelers claim that it will be our initiation into the Icelandic way of life.
     Now I am questioning my sanity. We had carefully packed our swimming gear in our carry-on luggage, but to shed all those layers of winter clothes for a couple hours in a communal locker room for an outside pool in December seems a lot of bother.
    Later I am told by an Icelandic resident that locals go several times a week to an outdoor pool for its rejuvenating and restorative powers, along with the accompanying socialization. Besides, it staves off only 4 hours of daylight in the winter, and it is healthier than other forms of indoor entertainment. Obviously we aren’t believers yet, and our Thomas name is living up to its reputation.

     The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is located in a lava field in a location favorable for geothermal power, and is supplied by water used in the nearby power station. The warm waters are rich in minerals like silica and sulfur and bathing in the Blue Lagoon is reputed to help some people suffering from skin diseases such as psoriasis.  The water temperature in the bathing and swimming area of the lagoon averages 99–102 °F. The Blue super-heated water is vented from the ground near a lava flow and used to run turbines that generate electricity. After going through the turbines, the steam and hot water passes through a heat exchanger to provide heat for a municipal water heating system. Then the water is fed into the lagoon for recreational and medicinal users to bathe in.
     Iceland has a strict code of hygiene and guests are required to shower prior to enjoying the geothermal spa. The communal showers are split up by gender and of course, bathing suits are required.
     The silicate minerals are the primary cause of that water's milky blue shade. After the minerals have formed a deposit, the water re-infiltrates the ground, but the deposit renders it impermeable over time, hence the necessity for the plant to continuously dig new ponds in the nearby lava field.
     With a spring in my step I walk briskly to the edge of the pool barely seeing one foot ahead of me.  I perceive a chill in the air, and I rapidly slide in.
      The instant I dip into the warm waters - icy rain falls down on my hair from above - and start looking around the murky landscape – it is still completely dark outside – I realize that it is the most surreal moment I have ever encountered. As I explore different parts of the water I convince myself that here I am far away from home soaking away all my weariness in a country I have been curious to visit for a long time.
    The lagoon winds around and there are many spots to stop and soak. It is amusing watching people taking pictures with cell phones, and frankly, I am satisfied to have left mine in the locker away from the water. I’m not going to chance a protective plastic pouch either.
     I have no desire to get out of the water. The deterrent isn’t the fact that I would have to rush back through the cold air to the locker room. It is simply a fabulous moment that I wish to cling to as long as possible.

     Once I do, all my aches and pains disappear and I feel on top of the world and ready to tackle a day of touring.
     The next afternoon I visit a different spa and the same sensation takes over which lasts the whole trip. Right then and there, I become a convert to geothermal baths. My husband not so much.
      Cheers to the Icelanders - and other Scandinavians - for sharing their secret of a healthy body for all seasons.


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Finding the comfort in comfort foods

    From the rocky shores of Lake Michigan to bucolic Perkinsville, NY, folks are serious about food in their lives. This time of year is no exception.
    Again, I appealed to my Facebook fans, and asked them to mention a food that made them joyful and over the moon happy.
      I held my breath afraid that this idea might be overkill. After all, I had written a successful column, Weird Things that Make Adults Happy, earlier in the summer. I should leave things alone. Apparently, I will never learn.

      However, it wasn’t but a minute later that I received my first response. Another one. And another post.
     I was on to something. Social media ceases to amaze me anymore.
     In most cases a reader mentioned one food. Some couldn’t leave it at that, though, and the mere suggestion of eats got them writing memories of favorite family members and places. Others have special dishes found only at specific places. I received pictures, too, posted with thoughts.
     I left each post exactly as written for the individual language says so much, too.
      In no particular order – There’s one from our own Livingston County editor mixed in the list – enjoy and if nothing more, you’ll grab an idea of what you might dream about tonight.

Homemade soup, yum. Our nephew once said, "Soup is very welcoming.” We made soup often, and always have it ready to heat up when guests arrive. My second favorite food is ice cream, with Turkey Hill All Natural Salted Caramel my favorite among the choices at Wegmans.

I could say anything I don't have to cook..LOL My weaknesses are brownies, pasta, smoothies from Caffe Far Bella in Saint Clair Shores and a good cup of coffee.

Thanksgiving stuffing--my brother has perfected my mother's recipe.  Barring that, grilled cheese and tomato soup. So lame.

Spaghetti and meatballs is my all time favorite food.

Hands down---Ma's cold meatloaf, thick cut on Dill Rye slathered with Hellmann's mayo and the sharpest cheddar cheese (white---no orange cows) I can find. Sigh of delight and taste bud happiness. Secondary---meatloaf omelet with same rye toasted perfectly.

A good grape pie.

Ritz crackers with peanut butter and jelly. That's my easy-to make go- to favorite. Nuthorns from my mother and milk.

Strawberry shortcake made with homemade biscuits and real whipped cream. It is always strawberry season on my birthday and that's what I always had instead of cake and ice cream. Recently found a restaurant that serves it just like when I was growing up. It's Our Family Diner in Retsof. Absolutely delicious.

Fruit cake spiked with anything left in the liquor cabinet and a tall glass of egg nog. A late Saturday night date with myself after working retail all day.

A food that is a seasonal favorite that only comes out once a year or that you only make for a holiday. Cider and donuts, Mom's fudge, frosted cut out cookies, the first grilled cheeseburger of the summer...I'm sure everyone can add to this.

My grandmother’s canned raspberries over vanilla ice cream. We would save these for a treat after or long trip back home in Pa. from Rochester. It was like having Gram right there with us.

Pizza burgers at the old Sugar Bowl!!

Pancakes with real maple syrup and fresh blueberries really take me back. The first time I tasted real maple syrup I was about 8 years old and we were having breakfast at the Toboggan Inn in Eagle Bay in the Adirondacks. Summer camping in the Adirondacks, chilly mornings, breakfast aromas of bacon sizzling, and pancakes -- I'm in heaven.

I love the Tom Wahls fish fry. My attachment is; when I was a kid living in the West Ridge neighborhood of Greece, there was a joint in the basement of the Ridgecrest Plaza called Charlie Vella's Restaurant. My folks didn't have much money in those days so it was a major treat when we could afford the Friday Night Fish Fry. Tom Wahls is almost exactly the same so every time I have one, I am reminded of some very happy days!

A treat with a story is La Florentine Torrone candy - when I was little visiting my grandparents, we would walk to the corner store filled with Italian meats, cheeses and aromas from heaven, and I was allowed to get one box of Torrone (placed way up high on the deli counter). It was a special memory of my visits; my grandparents have passed away but I recently heard that the corner store is still in operation. Wonder if they still have Torrone...

Black and white cookies! Soft cake like base with glaze icing that you can sink your teeth into. So...good...

Noble Pig's upside down apple pie... my husband bakes it for me with love.

Porcupine meatballs with tomato soup sauce (never fear, no animals were consumed in this dish LOL)

 Fresh wild-caught Alaskan salmon is my favorite food.  With that goes memories of ordering it everywhere I dined in Alaska where it was caught that very  morning. What a difference. (That’s my contribution.)

     Add yours to the list, too.

     There you have it.  Well-done, everyone. Bon app├ętit.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Trip to the dump lightens your mood

     There’s nothing like a run to the dump – officially called a landfill - to cleanse the weary soul of accumulated garbage like a total full body purification ritual.

    The dump is a meet-and-greet your fellow town folk place second only in popularity to the local diner on the rural life scale. It’s perfect for politicking and grabbing the latest bit of trashy gossip unfit for print.   
     I even had a proposal of marriage at a landfill far away from here. It’s a long story. A guy was chasing me in high school, and in a last ditch effort to get my commitment before I left for college, he made his proposal. Why we were there together I have no clue. I guess you could say that the boy got dumped.
     Today, loaded down with plastics, cans, bottles and newspapers all semi- sorted at home, I arrive at our local dump. It’s a well-kept place, and depending upon the day of the week and time, it can be very busy with a line-up of contractors’ trucks and cars filled to capacity, or relatively quiet as a door mouse on a shaded porch keeping out of the cat’s reach.
      I am not alone. A lady in a Milwaukee Twins baseball cap and denim Capri pants is parked next to the place I back in ever so carefully. I’m good at that even though I forget to trust my back up system on the dashboard one hundred percent of the time. She stops what she is doing, puts her hands on her hips and watches her car protectively, as if she doubts my driving skills. There’s a history of scratches and nicks I suppose in her life in parking lots, and she is of a cautious nature. When she is satisfied with my car placement, she pulls on her badly worn work gloves with a hole in each thumb and resumes her job.
     She has an SUV. I miss mine on dump days. There is something about a roomy space knowing that at any given time you can pick up that vintage rocking chair on the side of the road yard sale, or get the supplies at the lumberyard. It makes me giddy with all the freedom for roaming at will. 
     My husband does the main trash, but he is not here in the second car this morning. That’s how we divide up the chore.      
    You wonder why we don’t have a truck. My husband used to have a blue truck that he drove into the ground so to speak. That was before my time. He claims that he can’t rationalize the need for one.
     Parked on the other side of me is a gentleman who is more efficient with his organizational skills than I ever dreamed possible. I can tell because he has white buckets for each type of product properly labeled in black marker. He’s a serious dumpster. My haphazard collection of bottles and plastic spilling out must make him cringe.
     He doesn’t pay any attention to me until almost at the end of my back and forth routine when he quietly tells me that I should relax. “You’re working too fast.”
     Okay. I hear him and smile. I have no comeback ready. Instead I pick up my pace and get the job done. It’s just not the sort of place I want to hang. Heck. The overripe communal smells can sometimes get to me like on a warm summer’s day with its rising pungent odors.
     I pull out the plastics first. So much comes wrapped that way at the supermarket. Sigh. The first tray is one for berries.  We used it for liberally sprinkling paprika and putting it in the garbage can. It’s to keep the bear away from rummaging in our garbage cans, and it works. We forgot once early in the summer, and woke to a small amount of garbage strewn on our side lawn.

     As I reach into the trunk for a batch of cans – mostly from our cat’s meals – a white-haired woman drives up in her Focus and steps out with two small white bags each neatly tied. She tosses the contents – two or three cans and one or two glass jars - and in no time flat, she is back in her car and off. What’s that all about? 
     When I go to toss my newspapers and magazines over the fence into its section, I notice decent reading matter scattered on the concrete floor. Some of you will remember the days when the dump was a place for scavenging, and you would come home with one or two treasures, if not a gently used magazine.
     I am wondering if there is proper attire for a visit to the dump.
The lady in the Milwaukee baseball cap and Capri pants – oh, she had on clean white canvass sneaks – appears sensibly dressed. The neatly organized gentleman wears baggy kaki pants and a sky blue nylon polo shirt. The woman in the Focus was maybe a tad overdressed – a floral colored matching outfit – and sandals.  As for me, I am not a fashion plate on dump day and my jeans and tee shirt will suffice. Always sneakers. Once I wore sandals and cut my foot on a little bit of glass, and that was a good lesson in wearing sturdier shoes.
     When I drive off, it is with a huge sense of relief that the job is completed and my junk is out of sight. My mood is no longer in the dumps.  I’ve left it to the landfill people to figure out where it will move from here.