NEW RICHLAND-HARTLAND-ELLENDALE-GENEVA AREA

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Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

Eat it. It’s good for you.

How can an oatmeal sandwich be good for me?

It’s on whole wheat bread.

 

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: When I was a little boy, my mother dressed me for church. Dark pants, white shirt, shined shoes and a necktie. I cried. When my mother asked why, I explained that I was afraid I was going to be tied to a post like a farm animal. She replaced my necktie with a bowtie. It was held in place by a strap of elastic that made if possible for an older boy to pull it away from my neck. Once the elastic was stretched to its maximum, the tie was released. That bowtie is evident in early photos of me when I was slicked up for Sunday-go-to-meeting. I wore the pained look of a boy who'd just been punched in the Adam's apple by a bowtie.

 

The cafe chronicles

I'd like the steak and mashed potato special.

Very good, sir. What would you like for a vegetable?

More mashed potatoes.

 

 

Good glove and a good scissors

My granddaughter’s high school softball team won the game 18-0. It was a shortened game as the mercy rule was applied. The pitcher tossed a no-hitter, making the opponents’ bats appear as if they were allergic to contact with softballs. The winning squad flashed some leather. That was only right. Who knows how many cows had given their lives so that each player might have a glove.

Defense wins games in softball.

If putting a jigsaw puzzle together is a sport, a scissors might be what wins contests.

I was speaking at a couple of things in the area and had decided to visit a friend living in a nursing home not far away. She and several other women were looking at a jigsaw puzzle that they had nearly put together. One piece had been lost. I hatched a plan with the ladies. We scrounged up a piece from another puzzle that had found no home and when the activities director walked over, I pulled a folding scissors from my pocket and cut the stray piece to fit. I figured it would be OK as long as I didn’t use the good scissors, which should be used only for serious activities. Besides, I don’t carry the good scissors with me.

I shoved it into the empty spot in the puzzle with a smug, "Ta-da!" Other than being a bit of a cloud in the middle of a conifer, it looked good.

The activities director didn’t look as good. She looked as if she were about to have a cow until I confessed to my trickery.

I’ve given up playing softball and putting jigsaw puzzles together. We give up things as we mosey through life. The old farmhouse I grew up in was severely lacking in electrical power outlets. We used adapter plugs, sometimes plugged into another adaptor plug before going into the outlet, to expand the number of outlets. It wasn’t the safest thing to do, but it worked. To plug in a new appliance, a decision needed to be made as to which electrical cord could be unplugged. We gave up to get. Life is like that.

 

Nature notes

I watched a groundhog perched on a fence post and a robin chowing down at a grape jelly feeder. A catbird, a gifted polyglot, sang in many languages. Red-eyed vireos sang continually and a common yellowthroat called, "Follow me, follow me," as I stared at cedar waxwings. The beauty of birds transfixed me. A single waxwing is a compelling sight. A flock demands a long look.

Killdeer and an eastern phoebe called. They are name sayers, proclaiming their monikers to all who are willing to listen. Common grackles were busy doing grackle things. A friend calls them the Hell's Angels of birds.

I spoke in Arizona. It was hot there. I noticed many cars sporting bird droppings. More than average, I thought. I suspect it was because the cars were parked in the shade whenever possible, often under trees that birds used for perching.

My granddaughter Everly and I were talking about Baltimore orioles. I told her that they ate grape jelly. Everly asked why the orioles didn’t eat Oreo cookies. She thought it only natural that they should devour Oreos.

 

Meeting adjourned

Mark Domeier of Ellendale sent this fine quote by Roy T. Bennett, “Be mindful. Be grateful. Be positive. Be true. Be kind.”

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