Musings, reflections, wisecracks from a somewhat creative mind

Archive for the ‘Human friends’ Category

(Nearly) Middle-aged Homecoming

October 14, 2011. Picture it. Dusk. 7:15 p.m. A suburban high school football field, 70ish degrees with a clear sky, the players running onto the field, the crowd rowdy, M-80’s going off, teenagers running every which way. I’m (close to) middle-aged and out of my element, in my convertible, top down (the car), and I’m early. I wasn’t supposed to get there until half-time. I open my cell phone.

“Carla! I’m here! Where are YOU?”

“Uh … you’re EARLY.”

Me, “OK. What do you want me to do?”


Carla, “I’ll be right there. Don’t MOVE.”

Who am I?

Back story: A coworker and friend, Carla, asked if she could borrow my convertible and, well, ME, to chauffer one of her daughters with her daughter’s boyfriend around the football field at half time as part of the homecoming celebration. Naturally I said yes.

I’m so glad I did. And I’m glad there was a communications gaff that placed me there early because I got to witness a high school football game once again.

Well that’s not entirely true. The game was a “fond-memory-type” backdrop to the HOOPLA going on in the stands. Holy Toledo!

The Drum Major! The band! The Pep Squad (peppy indeed)! The cheerleaders! The cacophony and the sheer mass of high school students relentlessly moving and shouting and squealing, having decorated themselves with glitter and paint and bright yellow spandex. Did I ever have that much energy? Had I ever entertained the notion of a painted glittering handprint on my thigh … in maroon?

At one point, I turned to Carla and said “If you notice me quivering, it’s only because I’m way over-stimulated.” (shiver)

Those young adults were so alive and glowing and, whatever their inner travails might have been, they were happy that evening. And it was joy to witness.

None too soon the time came to descend from the stands and start the car. It was ready to go: The top was down and Carla and I placed beach towels over the seating area and the back seat. The Deputies lined us up with the other convertibles and we waited for the end of the first half.

As an aside, I’ve NEVER seen a football game so one-sided. The opponent (and guest!) was being slaughtered! Poor things! The score was 49 – ZIP at the end of the half.

So the homecoming candidates were assembled. I won’t pretend to know what all was going on. Someone else was in charge. Yippee. I chatted up the other convertible drivers. One had a schweet, cherry 442. Purrrr.

Next, the kids were going through the pomp and circumstance at the 50 yard line, being presented to the crowd. Meanwhile the cars moved around the field at a moderate pace to get in position. We slowly cruised around to the stands. Carla was in the passenger seat. (As IF I would do this without her.)

Worthy of note, Carla had by this time, taken approximately 547 pictures of her daughter and the boyfriend. And they looked lovely, beautiful and happy.

So the field ceremony comes to a close and the homecoming kids (runners up, too) climbed into the 5 or 6 waiting convertibles and endured the paparazzi and screams of delight.

First up, the yearbook staff snapped numerous photos. Now … remember Carla and I are in the car, too. So … uh … we might be in the YEARBOOK!!!  Ha ha ha! BWA ha ha ha!

And heeeerrrre's US!



Then I am signaled to move forward, following the vehicles in front of us. What a hoot! I grinned the whole time. The high schoolers lined the fence around the track/field and shouted “We LOVE you!” over and over. The two kids in my car kept saying “I feel like a movie star!” And, indeed! Why not? Who could blame them. They were!


Twice around the track then back to the stable for me.

I came away from the event feeling connected and so glad I could help some fine young people have such a great evening. The feeling of community and family was heady for me.

I thank Carla and her family for including me. And I want that yearbook photo!!

Stuff I am grateful for

I’ve seen several posts this morning where folks have listed things they are thankful for. Now I feel obliged to do the same. Here’s the short list:

My house with a roof that doesn’t leak (anymore)

My job which is part of a joyful, service-oriented enterprise, and my manager who leads me well

My Mom from whom I continue to learn (but she doesn’t realize it)

The rest of my family including my friends (you know who you are) from whom I continue to learn and who are vastly entertaining

My co-workers from whom I continue to learn and who are also vastly entertaining

Old friends and new friends

My neighbors – Xtreme entertainment (and fine folks and friends)

I am relatively healthy considering I’m barely trying (I ought to)

My car which is fun to drive and still runs despite my ignoring basic maintenance lately

My new kitten, Gracie, who is simultaneously a trial and a joy – she makes me laugh!

My sainted dog, Chloe, who is loyal and loving and mindful of my wishes including the one that says “Don’t hurt that gremlin kitten!”

The public library

Alarm clocks (really)


The sun and the clouds and the sky, the breeze and the odor of sea water

Birds chattering


Fans (the blowy kind)

Generosity and generous souls

My Mother’s handyman


Downtown Dunedin

Being an American



The guy who mows my yard (even though he butchers the honeysuckle by my mailbox)

Humor, most kinds

There’s plenty more. Just can’t think of them.


Fasten Seat Belt While Sedated

I traveled via airline recently and on the last leg of the trip, glanced at the seatback in front of me and saw “Keep seat belt fastened while sedated”. It actually read “Keep seat belt fastened while seated”. But my middle-aged and apparently dyslexic eyes and brain processed “sedated”. Others my age (middle, and let’s just leave it at that) tell me they have experienced this, too.

It is very persistent, mildly annoying and often comic. I’ve been meaning to look into it and see if I’m “normal”. So I hopped on Google this morning and typed in “middle-aged dyslexia”.

I got nuttin’ honey.

Then I tried “seeing the wrong words”. Pretty basic language and I had little hope of an answer. But, presto! Magic! I found one. And I’M NORMAL! (“Really??” you say? I say “Pipe down”.)

Words are stored as pictures in our brains. We see the first letter or a collection of letters and associate them with the wrong word occasionally.

Anyway, I think I like “sedated” better than “seated”. It’s more amusing.


Expressions my Mom has often used

Mother, mother, mother – pin a rose on me – was a film released in June 1924, as part of the Song Car-Tunes series. Early titles in the Song Car-Tunes series were Oh Mabel, Come Take A Trip in My Airship, and Goodbye My Lady Love, all released in May and June 1924. They were the first sound cartoons, not Disney’s Steamboat Willie, as often is thought. The song is a popular song from 1905.

Sew buttons on ice cream – From Norwood Gove’s “Little Green Book”. The quote is “So? Sew buttons on ice cream if you think you’re fast enough”.

Hells bells and panther tracks – American in origin, it is referenced in “The Dictionary of American Regional English,” published by Harvard University’s Belknap Press. It’s used as an expression of vexation or disappointment. The first written usage was in Peter B. Kyne and Gordon Grant’s, “Captain Scraggs and the Green Pea Pirates,” copyright, 1919. Also found in “Vermont History” [1959].

A consummation devoutly to be wished – is a quote from Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” and is part of the infamous “To be or not to be” speech.

To die: to sleep:

Nor more; and by a sleep to say we end

The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to; ‘tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wished.

Have an apple – OK! This is not really a saying … It’s just what she said if it was an hour before supper and us kids were complaining we were hungry.

Be careful what you wish for. You might get it – is a line in a classic horror story apparently written by W.W. Jacobs, first appearing in Harpers Monthly in 1902. The story begins with a quotation “Be careful what you wish for, you may receive it”.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark – Also from Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet …”

Nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rockers – This is likely an Appalachian saying.

The bee’s knees – is a term indicating excellence – the highest quality – because bees carry pollen back to the hive in sacs on their legs. (Riiiight.) The allusion is to the concentrated goodness to be found around the bee’s knee. The expression became popular in the U.S. in the 1920s, along with “the cat’s whiskers” (possibly from the use of these in radio crystal sets), “the cat’s pajamas” (pyjamas were still new enough to be daring), and similar phrases which made less sense and didn’t endure: “the eel’s ankle,” “the elephant’s instep,” “the snake’s hip.”

So did I just take all the romance and fun out of those sayings? Hm.

My Stick

My Stick

This is My Stick! It’s a good and a fine Stick. It was given to me by a little girl (about 3 ⅝ years old) who lives down the street from me. She knows a lot about sticks. She collects them and plays with them and then gives them to someone.

The generosity of a child is a precious thing—pure and simple.

When she gave The Stick to me she had on a formerly white top with hearts on it and dark sunglasses with neon green rims. Her little sister had on a hat with a floppy brim. Baby fashionistas.

Anyway, The Stick: It’s not a hockey stick or a pogo stick or a walking stick, a stirring stick or a measuring stick. It is a Multi-purpose Stick. You can use it for Anything my little friend tells me! You can use it as a magic wand, or a “teacher-pointer”, or you can spear a hot dog with it and cook a wiener over a fire.

Any ideas what else you can do with The Stick? (Keep it clean, boyz n girlz.)