Saturday, August 29, 2009
Honesty. It was an accident that I burnt the Youth Director's shoe at the Girls' Talk Overnight.
The teams were each hiding their three objects: a purse, a scarf, and one of a pair of shoes. The only time I'd left my spot by the fireplace was for a quick trip to the restroom. As the girls switched locations, I started the fire while Team One searched the floor I was in charge of. I wanted the fire to be warm and welcoming when we were ready to settle down after the game.
When Team Two finally came up from searching downstairs, they were horrified to find a full-blazing fire in the fireplace. They'd hidden the Youth Director's shoe under crumbled paper and logs at the very back.
Friday, August 28, 2009
We lived in the Black Hills, near Mount Rushmore, for a time. The top tourist blooper question for me came the summer there was flooding in North Dakota along the Red River.
A tourist called a ranger stationed at Mount Rushmore to say they were debating about visiting. They wanted to know if the Presidents' faces -- standing about a mile high in elevation -- was flooded, too.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Our present house had stood empty for a several months before we moved in. There was so much to do inside that I only went outside to mow or fill the birdfeeder.
Then came a day when I needed to simply sit in the sunshine and get some fresh air, to relax for a moment. I took a chair to the backyard and sat for the first time in weeks.
My eyelids were starting to droop, when out of my peripheral vision, I saw something dark, wandering slowly towards me, and now about three feet away. It was as obviously unaware of me as I had been of it.
I don't believe we have flying squirrels in this part of Michigan, but when I screamed, that black squirrel jumped about eight feet straight up, moving its little limbs for all its worth -- trying to fly, I think. Impulse made me leap up as well. But only a few seconds after the squirrel landed, it had scampered out of sight.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
While living out west, deer were very much a problem, both in city and in the country. It was not unusual to read about houses advertized for sale, listing they had an 8' deer fence around their garden. I've seen deer standing parallel on the outside of our chainlink fence, and in a blink of an eye, magically appear on the other, inside our yard. I swear, her legs didn't bend at all.
For a week one spring, there was a herd of about 30 deer who chose our yard to be their residence. It was nice for them since our fence protected them from the neighborhood dogs. And every day I scooped up the fertilizer they'd leave as rent payment.
Gardeners in the west have a secret which I'll now share with you. How to keep deer away from your garden? Cougar poop.
Moving to Michigan, I strung a rope around my little garden, not so much to keep the deer out, but to discourage them. A woman with several preschool kids passed by as I was stringing up my rope.
"Know what keeps deer away?" she asked me.
Without thinking, as I sometimes do, I answered, "Cougar poop."
Forgetting what she was going to suggest, she asked, "Where do you get cougar poop?"
And I, again answering without thinking, responded, "From cougars."
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
While attending a small, rural church for a couple years, there was this one woman whom we dubbed The Presbyterian Nun. Viola was in her mid-90's, had never married, and lived her life for her church. She taught Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and was also the weekly organist.
Once, in the middle of the sermon, a single note began from the organ. The tone hung in the air for seconds, then a minute, then longer. The pastor stumbled over his words. Everyone looked towards Viola sitting motionless at the organ. I was not the only one present who thought Viola had died at the organ, doing her church thing. Oh, what a nice way and place to die, I thought.
Then, slowly, Viola moved. Everyone in the congregation sucked in a startle-breath. The preacher kept preaching, but glanced now and then to the organist. That's where everyone else was looking, anyway.
Viola looked up (5 seconds), looked to her right (another 5 seconds), looked down to the organ (yep, another 5), then lifted her hand from the keyboard as the musical note suddenly stopped.
Our Presbyterian Nun lived to play for many more worship services.
Friday, August 7, 2009
As we entered the ship for our first-ever cruise last year, we were bombarded with the newness and information. There was already activity going on on the Lido Deck, said the announcer. With the ship so huge, I could hardly determine the bow from the strern. So, as we stepped aboard, to the first uniformed greeter I saw, I asked with my new vocabulary, "So, where's the libido deck?" My husband figured since it was such a huge ship, he'd probably never have to see that woman again face to face. The very funny thing, is that later on the cruise, we actually did find "the libido deck."
Reseraching cruises before we left, I found there were designated places for adults-only, where you could relax away from the yells and screams of kiddos. So one day, we came across a sign reading, "Adults Only. You must be 21 years old to go beyond this point." It wasn't so much that there were tons of screaming kids bothering us, as that I was merely curious. So we hiked up the narrow, dark stairway to the small, but crowded deck. I spotted two free lounge chairs at the far end, so trekked over to them. I grabbed one and started to sit in it when my husband took me by the arm and pulled me to the railing. As he'd never done anything quite forcefully like that before, I took note of him. I found he was having trouble breathing. "What's wrong? Are you ill? I asked him. He shook his head and simply said, "Let's go." I was very confused until I turned around to get my bad, and for the first time, noticed the nude bathers. At that point, since my legs weren't working very well, my husband rather dragged me towards the stairwell. Did I supidly stare? Yes. Why? 1) I was surprised by my initial in-observance, and by what I was now so obviously observing. 2) Because I wondered how come just the women on the deck were naked. And 3) We'd discovered there was a libido deck on board after all.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
I'm told that fireflies are dying off. Come to think of it, I haven't noticed them around much this summer, except for the 19' yellow cutty in our side yard called Firefly. Mosquitoes, now that's another matter.
The other day as I wiped the white kitchen wall clean of the red splat, I commented, "It died full, but happy."