Thursday, June 27, 2013

Joining a Round Robin

I was asked to join a writers' round robin, answering the question 'what I read and why.' You can find my answer and a link to the next author at my website,


Sunday, June 23, 2013

If a tree falls...

The excitement just never stops. Our doorbell rang yesterday at dusk and it's a man from the City about the tree which has split and blocked the side street, the one used by ambulances and police. Our neighbor has said the property was ours.

And indeed it is. With absolutely NO wind, the Bradford pear, about 30 years old, has split down the middle (beautiful that they are year-round, probably the reason they're no longer the landscaper's darling) and laid itself across the street. It hasn't hit anything. Whew! The power lines are okay and our little oak by the fence is upright. Upshot is the guy from the City is getting the front-end loader, pushing said half tree out of the way, and will be back on Monday to cut it up. Or most of it because now, our back driveway is totally blocked.

There must be an 'X' on this particular piece of real estate. The plum tree, now way past its life-expectancy, has been twisted by errant pickup trucks and other trees and falling fences. Still it produces. The hackberry which held court for the better part of a century in the opposite corner from the Bradford, went down in a straight-line wind 14 years ago, tanking into the street. Once the storm died down, it was pushed and torqued by the City out of the street and onto our driveway, taking down a section of fence with it.

Maybe we should consider some bushes, instead.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A photo quandary

I've decided to scan in old family photos. This is a daunting task as anyone with 40 years of married family photos will tell you. But I've decided to take the photos from my dad's albums and scan them also.

I was happily removing and throwing away those landscapes from trips he made with his second wife. I tossed photos that I knew I had given him so I'd have the "original" in one of my myriad albums. I pulled photos for my cousin who does the genealogy, both photos to scan of those I only have one copy of, and photos of his family from visits long ago. I gathered photos of my parents' dear friends from a trip they made together in 1948 and I'll see they get them.

So I was happily going along, pulling and gathering, somewhere in the back of my mind wondering how I was going to organize this colossal mess, when I hit an album that gave me pause.

Daddy's second wife had taken all his photos from before my mother and glued (that's a problem for another post) them into an album. There are photos of Daddy's old friends and, ahem, girlfriends. Lots of girlfriends. Small, black and white photos, so very 1939-1940. So historic? Not one with a caption other than "Dick's Girlfriends before marriage" written on the album cover.

I started to pull them out. I even tossed two. And then, I thought, what if someone could do something with these? Is there a collage or project someone needs great old photos for? Do I search on Pinterest for "What to do with photos of Dad's old girlfriends?"

And while we're at it, I can pull right off the overstuffed shelves Mother's album of WWII postcards from men other than Daddy! For what it's worth, he does have his own page.

What do I do with so much history?

I need suggestions.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The beach towel

Growing up, we didn't repurpose or recycle, we reused. Those first two re- words might not have been in common usage and they certainly weren't in the vocabulary of my house.

Mother's favorite way to reuse any item of fabric was to put it into the rag box. This was the fate of all of Daddy's old undershirts and many of his briefs. We mopped up messes and dusted every piece of furniture. They were soft and versatile. Old towels tended to find themselves in the garage.

At my house now, old bath towels and dish towels tend to be cut into smaller pieces, hemmed, and put in the wicker hamper for dusting and picking up spills. This afternoon there's a new one in there.

It's the remains of a beach towel, but not just any beach towel. It was given to me as a high school graduation gift. Of course, it begs the question, what does a college freshman need with a beach towel, but I believe I stretched it out--and myself upon it--to sunbathe on the flat dorm roof. It was all bright pink daisies and orange flowers, a white background, a young woman with her back to us, sunbathing with a hat perched on her head. It got washed and it got thin.

However, it stayed with me as I married and moved to a genuine beach place, Galveston. Then it trailed us to Georgia and eventually to where we've been for almost 34 years. Its last place of service was rolled tightly and placed under the bottom sash of a window. The window was difficult to open and if we balanced it just-so atop the towel, not only would the air be blocked during winter and summer, but the window would open in spring and fall.

But we got new windows and the towel was tossed to the ground by the workers. I rescued it, washed it and watched the small holes become bigger. This afternoon, I cut out the largest still usable piece and hemmed it. Its fate is the wicker hamper, but I'll smile every time I use it.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Bad karma buggy

I've been frequenting the monthly First Monday Trade Days in Canton, Texas, for over 20 years. In all that time, I've never had the experience I had twice (twice!) this past Friday.

At Canton there are the "grounds", where sellers set up tents and tables for display and there are the Arbors, a series of metal buildings like long open-sided barns where sellers can set up their booths more easily. Some are in the same place for years and have a clientele.

In either case, it is common to leave your shopping buggy outside the tent or booth and wander in. Hopefully, you make a purchase, stash it in your buggy and be off to the next buying opportunity.

Buggies are never touched by anyone else. Never seen it. Never heard of it. Everyone is happy to keep their own treasures, thank you very much.

But on Friday, as I made my way back to my buggy outside a tent, I saw that my water was in the bottom of the basket attached to my main buggy and that the water holder was gone! Stolen! I looked around and saw a man headed into the booth, my holder in his hand! "Sir!" I practically shouted. "Did you take my water holder?"

Well, yes he had. He thought it was for sale. He was on his way to find out how much from the seller. Really? I had little choice but to believe him, secure my holder and buggy, and march on. But how could he mistake my buggy for a sale item? Was he a newbie? Didn't look like a newbie.

On we go. Early afternoon, my friend wants to backtrack to the Arbors and make a purchase she's been mulling over. Her buggy, smaller than mine and already laden, will not hold what she wants. We trade buggies, mine, alas, still being basically empty.

When we meet up an hour later she starts the conversation with the fact that my buggy has bad karma. Why? Because someone waltzed off with it while it was parked outside a booth in the Arbors.

She and the dealer were searching frantically. She realized that the abandoned buggy by the booth was probably left there by the culprit, but mistaken identity was ruled out. It was an empty buggy whereas my friend had filled mine to overflowing. Just as she was giving her phone number to the dealer so he could call her when whoever had taken the buggy realized the mistake and brought it back, it was returned by a very embarrassed woman. How could one mistake a full and heavy buggy for a lighter-weight one? I guess we each get in our own little worlds at Canton.

But bad karma buggy has been given a stern talking-to about strangers and we'll see how it goes next time we venture out.