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Echoes From the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I’m retiring at the end of the year.

What are you going to do to keep busy?

Not a thing.

Well, go easy at first.


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: I stopped at the grocery store. I had a shopping list that included bottled water. I bought a few six packs of the water. As I carried the water to my car, it occurred to me that I’m a throwback. It wasn’t long ago that my ancestors carried water from wells for drinking purposes and not long before that, they lugged water from streams and lakes. I hope they are pleased to know that I’m still hauling water.


October in Hanska

Ranker created a public poll to determine America's favorite month. The top ten Best Months of the Year as determined by voters were as follows: 1. October 2. December 3. May 4. July 5. June 6. November 7. September 8. April 9. August 10. March.

We’re fortunate to live where we get all 10 of those months every year.

I think I know why October was most popular. Smorgasbord.

Each October, my wife and I accompany friends, Hobart and Charlotte Anderson of New Ulm, to the smorgasbord held at the Nora Unitarian Universalist Church near Hanska. The food is delightful and bountiful. Everyone is Norwegian for a day.

I listened to a man say that he’d visited Norway on his 60th, 70th, 80th and his 90th birthdays. He talked highly of his relatives there making it sound as if not one of them was low enough to steal the raisins out of the rice pudding.

They offered Norwegian meatballs and Norwegian rice pudding. Both were delicious, but tasted very much like Swedish meatballs and Swedish rice pudding.  Rommegrot, flatbrod, sot suppe, cookies (Berlinerkranser, sandbakkel, fattigmand, krumkake and kringla), ham, tongue, carrots and mashed potatoes. Pickled herring was available. I spent many years, but not enough, in the company of a Chihuahua named Sancho. He was a fine friend, but a chronic beggar. It didn’t matter what I was eating, Sancho was begging. One year, I rewarded his incessant begging by giving him a small piece of pickled herring. He didn’t eat it. He rolled on it. Rolling on pickled herring made him just as happy as a smorgasbord near Hanska made me.


My Chucks didn’t run on batteries

My watch had stopped working — again.

It kept poor time anyway. It was never correct. The battery had died. Its batteries died with such regularity that my watch had become a receptacle for dead batteries.

Out of habit, I continued to wear it.

The watch had the right time twice a day. That was two more times than it did when it was running.

I’m getting a mechanical pocket watch like I had when I was a pup. No battery needed.

I appreciate some of the products from my youth before they became new and improved many times over.

When I played basketball, my kickers were Chucks. Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers made by Converse were durable gym shoes. Chuck Taylor was born in 1901 in Indiana. Taylor played semi-pro basketball with the Columbus Commercials and the Akron Firestone Non-Skids before moving to Chicago in 1922 to work as a salesman for the Converse Rubber Shoe Company. Converse began producing canvas shoes in 1915. Taylor played for and coached the All-Stars, a traveling team sponsored by Converse to promote their All Star shoes that had been introduced in 1917. In 1932, Converse added his signature to those shoes and they became known as Chuck Taylor All-Stars. Wilt Chamberlain wore them in 1962 when he scored 100 points in an NBA game. Converse, now owned by Nike, sells more than 270,000 pairs of Chuck Taylors each day, 365 days a year.

Elvis Presley may have sung about blue suede shoes, but he wore Chucks.


Nature notes

I imagined a loud voice declaring, "Welcome to Autumn World. Enjoy the raking of the leaves ride."

I dragged things here and there across the lawn. If you live in the country, there is always something that needs dragging. A small critter scurried through the fallen leaves. It was a furry-no-worry that allowed only a brief glimpse. A mouse of some sort busily doing whatever a mouse of some sort does.

It was a Goldilocks day. Not too hot. Not too cold. It was just right for both a man and a mouse of some sort.


Meeting adjourned

Any kindness that we do for others makes us better persons.

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