Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting
Do you have a pen I could use?
Then what's that in your shirt pocket?
That's a pen you can’t use.
Driving by the Bruces
I have two wonderful neighbors — both named Bruce — who live across the road from each other. Whenever I pass their driveways, thoughts occur to me, such as: most people could use a good listening to.
The radio offered Toby Keith singing about being in love with a red Solo cup.
That caused a patron to either laugh or lay an egg.
That man, who optimistically called himself middle aged, bellowed, "Good gravy!"
"Good gravy" is "uffda" with gravy.
At the table of infinite knowledge, we talked of a friend who had died much too young. I recalled a song by Jimmy Buffett called, "He Went to Paris," that contained this line, "Some of it’s magic, some of it’s tragic. But I had a good life all the way."
Larry Sandvol of Big Stone City, S.D. talked of his friend, an avid duck hunter, who died and was cremated. His hunting buddies reloaded shotgun shells, putting a bit of cremains into each shell. They spread his ashes that way.
I mentioned a movie that my wife and I had seen in the theater. I knew it was a chick flick. How did I know? I woke up once during the film and my wife was crying.
We miss our friend. Sometimes we laugh to keep from crying.
Two Hartlanders had such a great day fishing a brook that they vowed to meet 10 years later at that same spot to repeat the experience. But 10 years later, they couldn’t agree on the exact location. One said, "This is the spot. I recognize the clover growing on the bank."
The other man replied, "Nonsense, you can’t tell a brook by its clover."
I camped along the Missouri River. Camping is something to do when you feel the need to use a Posturepedic rock as a pillow.
I don’t own a cabin. I know that in some parts of the country, cabins are called cottages. Where I live, a cottage is where you make a certain kind of cheese.
I canoed during the day, put up a tent in the evening, and built a small fire for cooking.
At one site, wood was difficult to find. I can’t paddle a canoe as well as I can chop wood and make a fire. The canoe was old and would have made a warm fire.
It was tempting.
We’re all part of a team
Over the course of a week, I visited the grocery stores in Ellendale and New Richland. I couldn’t help but notice how nice everybody was. Folks greeted one another whether they were acquainted or not. People regularly held doors open for others and wishes for nice days were common. Shoppers were required to talk about the weather, but appeared to mean it when they asked, "How are you?"
I saw a bumper sticker on a car parked in front of one of the stores that read, "I run like a girl. See if you could keep up."
I spoke at a college in Chicago. There was a basketball tournament going on while I was there. I watched one team warm-up. It had a muscular guard, a quick guard, a 7-foot center who dunked effortlessly, a lithe forward whose smooth moves were readily apparent, and a couple of deadly jump shooters. They warmed up. Six players. Six basketballs. There were no words exchanged amongst the players. There were no handshakes, fist bumps, or high-fives. No one smiled. They were as snotty as a preschooler with allergies. They played a team that appeared to be far less talented, but played as a team and destroyed the six players on the court.
Did you know?
A Gallup Poll found that Rhode Island was the least appreciated state by its own residents with only 18 percent saying the state was the best place to live. Only 19 percent of Illinois residents felt that way. Montana and Alaska topped the list, with 77 percent of residents thinking highly of their state. Minnesota was at 61 percent and Iowa 56.
"How long do crows live?" Most crows don't live a year, dying in the egg or as nestlings. The average fledged crow likely lives 7 or 8 years, but studies by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology indicates that crows could live to be 17 to 21 years old. The oldest known wild American crow was 29 1/2 years old.
The investment return on a kind word is extremely high.