Archive for the ‘memories’ Tag

05/13/2022 “LL Spring Training Begins”   1 comment

This will be a short and sweet posting today. Spring/Summer has arrived with a huge bang now that the weather has turned warmer. Family obligations come first since they’re mostly about the grand kids anyway. Last evening my better-half and I attended our first little league ballgame to support our grandson. This is a league for 7–9-year-old future all-stars and it’s a real hoot to watch these kids as they try to figure the game out. Most barely know how to swing a bat, let alone having enough arm strength to throw a ball to a base. It’s getting them on the field and teaching them the beginnings of playing as part of a team. This is baseball at its absolute best. There were about 20 kids in their fabulous new T-Shirts, a host of moms and dads and brothers and sisters, and about ten million effing mosquitos to drive us all insane. That visit will keep us both in the good graces of grandson #2.

Grandson #1 will be taking the field in a day or so in a league of older kids. I can’t wait to see him at bat since I was his unofficial batting coach in his younger days. More fun baseball, more black flies, and more mosquitos. Being a baseball fan and a grandparent is almost a full-time job and we both love it.

Unfortunately, the blog will suffer a bit. I may miss a few days here and there but hopefully not too many.

BASEBALL RULES

(Except in Pittsburgh)

05/05/2022 More Bad Poetry   3 comments

Enjoy the holiday!!

Poetry is an enigma to me. I wouldn’t know good poetry if my life depended on it and even the bad poetry that I sometimes see doesn’t sound so bad. Anything that confuses me like that makes it impossible for me to take it too seriously. After a recent Bad Poetry Post, I received a few e-mails with samples from some of my readers. I assume they sent them because they thought they were bad, I don’t really know, so you figure it out. I think the first one was sent to me because I’m from Maine and someone thought I might be interested in Moose poetry. Good luck with that one. Here it is . . .

A moose is like a bull on stilts
With a silly kind of head.
And if one of them sat on you
You’d probably be dead.

Do you really think that’s bad poetry? It seems okay to me but nothing special. It’s a little bit of truth with a little bit of silliness. Here’s the next one which I really don’t understand about a Toad. It’s a little weird but kind of funny. It seems more like a limerick than poetry but when you get right down to it there isn’t much of a difference.

The story that is told
By a severely flattened toad,
Is of evidential failure
In attempts to cross the road.

This next poem hits home for me primarily due to my advanced age and secondly because it brings back memories of my favorite grandmother who passed away a very long time ago. See what you think.

💖

Of love and marriage who can say, which
way these things can go.
A loving wife, a shrieking hag, no one
will ever know.

The years of youth have come and gone,
with memories good and bad.
The happiness of family, the love of mom
and dad.

The years should teach you something, or
so we’re always told.
Remain yourself no matter what, and mellow
when your old.

Your life is filled with happiness, and
sorrows big and small,
But not until your old and gray, will you
understand it all.

It is a shame that through the years, this
knowledge lies unused.
Erring and blundering again and again,
with help and advice refused.

So, think about the elder ones, grandmothers,
grandfathers and such,
Who’ve experienced life’s many problems,
and could help you oh so much.

Their days are few in number, and once
their gone it’s sad.
Accept their help and listen close, to the
experiences that they’ve had.

And when they’ve gone, you’ll think of them
the way they used to be.
The memories are all you have, but that’s
enough you see.

🌯🍹🌶

ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY

09/17/2021 The Good Old Days   4 comments

Way back . . .

  • I’m talking about hide and seek at dusk, sitting on the porch. Hot bread and butter, eating a super-duper sandwich (Dagwood), Red light, Green light, 123.
  • Chocolate milk, lunch tickets, any candy in a brown paper bag. Hopscotch, butterscotch, Double-Dutch, jacks, kickball and dodgeball. Mother, May I? Hula Hoops, sunflower seeds, jawbreakers, blow pops, Mary Janes, and running through the sprinklers. The smell of the sun and licking salty lips.

Wait . . .

  • Watching lightning bugs in a jar, playing slingshot and Red Rover. When around the corner seemed far away, and going downtown seemed like going somewhere.
  • Bedtime, climbing trees. 1 million mosquito bites and sticky fingers. Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians, sitting on the curb, jumping down the steps, jumping on the bed, and pillow fights.
  • Being tickled to death, running until you are out of breath. Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt. Being tired from playing . . . Remember that?

I’m not finished yet . . .

  • What about the girl that had the big bubbly handwriting? Licking the beater when your mother made cake. When there were two types of sneakers for boys and girls (Keds and PF Flyers), and the only time you wore them at school was for “gym”.
  • When nobody owned a purebred dog. When the quarter was a decent allowance, and another quarter a huge bonus. When you’d reach into a muddy gutter for a penny. When girls neither dated or kissed until late high school, if then. When your mom wore nylons that came in two pieces.
  • When you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, for free. And you didn’t pay for air, and you got trading stamps to boot! When laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the boxes.
  • When any parent could discipline any kid, or feed him or use him to carry groceries, and nobody, not even the kid, thought anything of it. When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents.

Not done yet . . .

  • When all of your male teachers wore neckties and female teachers had their hair done, every day. When they threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed… And did! When being sent to the principal’s office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home. Having a weapon in school, meant being caught with a slingshot. When nearly everyone’s Mom was at home when the kids got there.
  • Basically, we were in fear for our lives but it wasn’t because of drive-by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc. Disapproval of our parents and grandparents was a much bigger threat!
  • Decisions were made by going “eeny-meanie-miney-mo”. Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, “do over!” Race issue meant arguing about who ran the fastest. Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in Monopoly.
  • Catching fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening. It wasn’t odd to have two or three “best friends”. Being old, referred to anyone over 20. The net on a tennis court was the perfect height to play volleyball and rules didn’t matter. It was unbelievable that dodgeball wasn’t an Olympic event.
  • The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties. It was magic when Dad would remove his thumb. Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.

And nobody was prettier than Mom.

IT’S NICE TO LOOK BACK

(And please, no wise cracks about the photo.)

08/27/2021 Old Golden Rule Days   Leave a comment

As most of you are aware I am a lover of all things trivial and historical. I love all history but especially my own. Now it’s time for me to take you on a little trip down memory lane back to 1960. I’m going to introduce you to someone in my life who left me with vivid memories of school and a few emotional and geographical scars.

The lady in question was my eighth grade geography teacher. She was obsessed with geography to a fault. She was one of the meanest teachers I’ve ever had but also absolutely unforgettable (and not in a good way). On the first day of classes she told our group that half of our grade for the entire year would be based on our ability to memorize all the countries of the United Nations in alphabetical order and to recite it in front of the class. We spent many a day standing in front of the classroom and reciting as best we could as many of the countries as possible. Did I learn the countries, you bet I did, and at that time there were 82 of them.

All of us students agreed that she was an absolute lunatic and that was never disproven. She passed away many years ago and I actually sat in a bar that night with a close friend, another of her students, and toasted the old girl with a few stiff drinks. I didn’t attend her funeral but I was tempted to because I wanted to make sure she was really gone. This post is a something of a memorial and tribute to miss Mabel Milldollar, one of the most unforgettable persons I’ve ever met. This list of trivia items would have been something she would have loved but only if she could have used the information to create one of her memorable pop quizzes. They were brutal. Let’s get this started….

  • The part of the United States that the sun shines on first is the top of Mount Cadillac in Maine.
  • The state of Hawaii is composed of 132 Islands.
  • 25% of the State of California is made up of deserts.
  • The southernmost tip of Africa is the Cape of Agulhas.
  • The northernmost point in the United States is the city of Point Barrow, Alaska.
  • The city of Timbuktu is located in Mali in Western Africa.
  • The Sahara desert in North Africa has an area of 3,250,000 square miles.
  • Western South Dakota marks the geographical center of the United States since the addition of Hawaii and Alaska.
  • Piccadilly Circus in London got its name from collars, called picadillo’s, that were made by a tailor name Robert Baker who created them in the area.
  • The highest uninterrupted waterfall in the world is Angel Falls in Venezuela. It has a 3212 foot drop.
  • The lowest point of dry land on the earth is the shore of the Dead Sea, between Jordan and Israel, which is approximately 1300 feet below sea level.

I hope you’re smiling up at me Miss Milldollar because you couldn’t possibly be looking down on me. Your evil brainwashing techniques would have certainly qualified you for special duty at Club Gitmo. No terrorist in the world could have stood up to that “evil eye” you were famous for. I hope you’re sitting in the corner of wherever you happen to be with a pointy dunce cap on your head and having your hand smacked with a big ass ruler.

Am I bitter? Nah, I’m not bitter.

04-24-2016 Journal – Around the Campfire!   2 comments

I’ve been complaining for months about wanting warmer temperatures and yesterday I got my wish. We had a gorgeous day in the mid-sixties and it was sunny without a cloud in the sky.  The cat and I even managed an hour on the deck to work on our tans a bit.  It was incredible.

How do you end the perfect day?  Always a good question I suppose. After my better-half arrived home from work we discussed just that. It was the perfect night for a bonfire to start our Spring and Summer seasons off properly. Before dark I spent a few minutes preparing.

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A  bonfire while being really great also gives me a chance to rid myself of wood scraps collected during the winter months in my workshop and from the garden repairs and upgrades.  The wood was cut and we were ready to go. Next I built the fire and lit it up.

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The darker it got the better it became. We sat quietly enjoying the warm night and the good company.  The sky was showing some light from Portland a few miles away which offered up a photo or two work keeping.

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As we fed the fire it became really cozy and intimate. No vehicles noises, no kids playing and screaming, just peace and quiet.

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The smell of burning firewood took us both back to past years around similar fires with family and friends who are no longer with us.  The heat of the fire on my face was just the best.  After a few hours we shuffled off to bed feeling good about each other and life in general.  We left the fire with some regret.

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SPRING HAS OFFICIALLY ARRIVED

11-14-15 Journal – Pre-Christmas Blues!   Leave a comment

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I’m already on my third cup of coffee this morning and that good old caffeine buzz I’ve come to rely on has yet to rev my engines.  I have a lot of errands to run today and need some serious motivation to get them all completed.  The blessing is that my better-half is working which will keep her out of my hair (what little I have left) to prepare for her birthday dinner tonight.  It’s difficult to get anything secret done around here and over the years she’s forced me to become even sneakier  than usual.

She loves being surprised and each year that goes by it get tougher and tougher to come up with fresh ideas.  I’ve purchased her a few gifts which I’m sure she’ll like because I am “The Man” when it comes to giving great gifts.  As much as she likes being surprised I like doing the surprising.  I can’t go into too many details because she reads this blog looking for clues.  I’ve learned to be very careful in keeping important information as secret as possible.

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She’s been feeling a little depressed coming into the holidays since it’s the first ones since the passing of her Mom.  She’s usually a Christmas fanatic going totally bonkers with decorations and general X-mas silliness. She needs something to get her into the holiday spirit and I’m hoping we’ll  have our first snowfall soon. That’s always been a kick-start for me and I think it will be for her as well.  She’s also a shopping machine and quite possibly a few hours out in the crowds on Black Friday will help too.

I understand how she feels because I went through the loss of both my parents in the last eight years.  My mother was a Christmas lunatic too and it’s still difficult to have Christmas and not think of her and my dad and Christmases past.

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The saving grace this year will be the grandsons.  Christmas has always been for the children and once the tree gets decorated and the kids come to visit, chattering on and on about Santa and reindeer, she’ll be just fine.  They own her completely and a few smiles from them will make all the difference in the world. Then she’ll go crazy the last week before Christmas trying to make up for lost time which is what I’m hoping for.

Truthfully I’ve been a real Grinch for many years about Christmas but having the boys in our life is changing all that. I hope we both can find the holiday spirit once again.  I’d love to have that feeling on Christmas morning like I did when I was eight years old.

It can’t get much better than that.

05-22-2015 Journal – Memorial Day!   2 comments

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‘Remember’

With the Memorial Day weekend looming we can all sit back and watch the television programming meant to honor those service men and women who have paid the ultimate price.  Being an Army veteran I hesitate to participate in the required litany of praise, sorrow, and remembrances that seem to be mandatory these days.  As a vet I never expected praise for my service because it was the right thing to do, for me.  I wanted to pay back a little to the country that kept me free.  It’s more comfortable for me to celebrate the holiday in a private manner without all of the hoopla. 

I had a number of friends who proudly served their country but never made it home and I remember them all too often.  I have no need for making some sort of holy pilgrimage to "The Wall" in DC to stand and sob and leave tokens. I’ll fly my flag with pride in silence, remember my lost friends in silence, and try to live my life in a way to make them proud.

So there’ll be no sad stories here because I prefer to celebrate this day my way. It takes special people to voluntarily place themselves in harms way with the fear of dying a real possibility, especially these days.  Nothing saddens me as much as the people in this country that have never served and criticize those who do.  Waving a flag and watching fire-works displays twice a year leaves me flat.

I’m looking forward as most people do to the Summer months but using Memorial Day as a spring board for that seems a little disrespectful, to me. Make a contribution to the Wounded Warrior Project, quietly remember the fallen, kiss your children, and live your life to the fullest. That’s the best way to remember them because they died so you could.

Let’s make flying the American flag the only dignified display required for celebrating this day.

IS YOUR FLAG FLYING?

05-04-2015 Journal–My Not So Exciting Life!   Leave a comment

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‘Owwwww, That Smell”

What do you consider as a day in your life you’d never forget? Is it the day you found a $10.00 bill in a parking lot or is that day you had the best sex of your life? I’m sure that all of us have a few of those memorable days we enjoy looking back on.

Early in my life I decided that the reports of an afterlife were just so much hokum and I needed to approach my life in a manner that reflected that thought.  If this existence was all we’d ever have then I needed to aggressively pursue those things I really desired.  If I didn’t obtain them and experience them now I’d never get another chance.

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I left home for college, then quit college , joined the Army, went to Korea, fell in love, returned to the states, became a cop, got married, hang glided, sky dived, and bungee jumped. Moved to New England, became a businessman, joined Greenpeace, left Greenpeace, started a business, adopted a son and became a long distant cyclist.  Stood on the summit of Mt. Washington in a thunder storm with my hands in the air and a prayer on my lips. Became a pretty decent racquetball player, got divorced,  sold my home and moved to the coast. Bought a house on the water, bought two ferrets, and partied for two years. Lost my job, sold my house, and moved to Maine.  Bought my first digital camera, got a job interviewing criminals, bought another house, met the love of my life, and settled down. 

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Sounds like a pretty strange and wonderful life so let me tell you what I did yesterday. On a damp and crappy day I spent an hour and a half standing in and shoveling compost.  To misquote Robert Duval in the movie Apocalypse Now, "I just love the smell of compost in the morning."  There’s nothing quite like the smell of rotting organic material wafting into your nostrils and making your eyes water.  It’s sticks to your shoes and later in the day you may even find a few small chunks in the folds of your clothing as a further reminder.

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I’m now officially adding that job, COMPOST SHOVELER,  to my endless list of dumb-ass jobs and even dumber-ass accomplishments that continue to keep my life so interesting.  I guarantee I won’t be looking fondly on today’s task in the future but my memories of that smell are permanent.

‘Live Your Life’

04-29-2014 Journal Entry – Life in the Vault!   1 comment

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I mention my better-half in this blog often.  With Mother’s Day approaching I thought a salute to her would be appropriate.  She’s raised her three children, seen them graduate from college, and watched as they moved on with their lives.  She is and should be proud of such a major accomplishment.  Now since her nest has emptied it was time for the next stage of her life with me to begin.  It was time for both of us to readjust to a new and different style of living.

As I’ve gotten older I find myself looking back and reminiscing at odd times.  I have many wonderful memories that I reflect on occasionally and that was always part of my master plan.  Growing up I decided early on to build an archive of memories that I could enjoy after I was too old to create new ones.  I always pictured myself sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch of my home looking back at all the fun I’d had in my life.  I looked forward to the day I could mentally relove any number of women and remember them as being even better than they actually were.

My normal approach to living was if something looked interesting I just jumped right in and tried to experience it.  Why not? I was slowly filling up my mental filing cabinet for use after my retirement. It made for a pretty cool life all in all but there were many bumps in the road as well. That was to be expected and those not-so-great memories also made their way into my mental “vault”, to lamely quote from a few Seinfeld episodes.

As a young and middle aged man I saw life in my sixties as something totally different from what it actually turned into.  When I was thirty I felt twenty, in my forties I felt twenty-five, and in my fifties I felt thirty-five.  It was in my mid-fifties when I first met my better-half.  I’d heard the term “better-half” used for years by others but I just thought it was something people said to convince themselves they’d found that elusive soulmate we all search so diligently for. Little did I know that I would all of a sudden become a real believer.  One can never know when that thunderbolt will hit but OMG when it does, it really hits hard. Things haven’t been the same since we met and I’m all the luckier for it. I felt like I was sixteen again both mentally and physically which was more than just a little scary at first.  But I adjusted.

I was forced into retirement much earlier than I ever thought possible thanks to the downsizing of the state government here in Maine.  I was afraid my master plan had been seriously compromised. Now I’m sitting on that famous porch of mine with my better-half, my cat, her grandson, his parents, and all of the new memories we’ve been creating over the last decade. The vault is full to overflowing, I’m happier than I’ve ever been, and I see many more terrific years ahead of us.

Of course, I’m writing this to brag a little but also to let all of you know that life can be good regardless of your age.  My fantasy now is to sit on that infamous porch when I’m In my nineties and hopefully remember the things I’m experiencing today, tomorrow, next week, and next year.  I imagine I’ll be feeling like a man in my sixties then which should be a weird and amazing turn of events. It’s incredible how our minds work  to help us to adjust to these constant life changes.

It will happen to you too . . . . . . .  Wait for it!

AND A HUGE HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO MY BETTER-HALF.

11-29-2013 A Look Back!   1 comment

According to Socrates “an unexamined life is not worth living”.  I agree with that to a point because there are times when looking back has truly restorative value.  It clears the mind by allowing us to revisit simpler and sometimes happier times.   The post that follows is me looking back and remembering how different things were not so long ago.  I’m not saying they were always better but in some cases they definitely were.  Read on and enjoy a short but detailed visit to my early childhood.

Way back…

I’m talking about hide and seek at dusk, sitting on the porch. Hot bread and butter, eating’ a super-dooper sandwich (Dagwood), Red light, Green light, 1 2 3.

Chocolate milk, lunch tickets, penny candy in a brown paper bag. Hopscotch, butterscotch, Double-Dutch, jacks, kickball, and dodge ball. Mother, May I? Hula Hoops, Sunflower Seeds, jawbreakers, blow pops, Mary Janes, and running through the sprinklers. The smell of the sun and licking salty lips.

Wait……

Watching lightening bugs in a jar, playing slingshot and Red Rover. When around the corner seemed far away, and going downtown seemed like going somewhere.

Bedtime, Climbing trees. A million mosquito bites and sticky fingers. Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians, sitting on the curb, jumping down the steps, jumping on the bed, and pillow fights.

Being tickled to death, running till you were out of breath. Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt. Being tired from playing …. Remember that?

I’m not finished just yet…

What about the girl that had the big bubbly hand writing? Licking the beaters when your mother made a cake. When there were two types of sneakers for girls and boys (Keds & PF Flyers), and the only time you wore them at school, was for “gym.”

When nobody owned a purebred dog. When a quarter was a decent allowance, and another quarter a huge bonus. When you’d reach into a muddy gutter for a penny. When girls neither dated nor kissed until late high school, if then. When your mom wore nylons that came in two pieces.

When you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, for free. And you didn’t pay for air, and, you got trading stamps to boot! When laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the box.

When any parent could discipline any kid, or feed him or use him to carry groceries, and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it. When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents.

Not done yet . . .

When all of your male teachers wore neckties and female teachers had their hair done, everyday. When they threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed…and did! When being sent to the principal’s office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home. Having a weapon in school, meant being caught with a slingshot. When nearly everyone’s mom was at home when the kids got there.

Basically, we were in fear for our lives but it wasn’t because of drive-by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc.  Disapproval of our parents and grandparents was a much bigger threat!

Decisions were made by going “eeny-meeny-miney-mo.” Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, “do over!” “Race issue” meant arguing about who ran the fastest. Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in “Monopoly.”

Catching fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening. It wasn’t odd to have two or three “best” friends. Being old, referred to anyone over 20. The net on a tennis court was the perfect height to play volleyball and rules didn’t matter. It was unbelievable that dodge ball wasn’t an Olympic event.

The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties. It was magic when dad would “remove” his thumb. Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.

Nobody was prettier than Mom.

IT’S NICE TO OCCASIONALLY LOOK BACK

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