A Snowy Stroll

Today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt is PEDESTRIAN

Like other PED- words like pedicure, pediform, and pedal, this word pertains to what you do with your feet. And today, in our part of the world, folks who are on foot outdoors are walking through snow.

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Image by TanteTati — Pixabay

We had a wonderful week of spring; roads and sidewalks were bare and we enjoyed getting around outside. Our cats were delighted to explore parts of the yard that have been inaccessible all winter. Twice Angus brought his mouse-ly discoveries to our front step where he could dine at leisure.

But this morning we have another parting slap from winter and our cats are housebound. They waited at the door this morning to be let out as always and…er…no thanks. The mouse community is probably heaving a collective sigh of relief. 🙂

I went to the city yesterday—and am glad I did—because my hearing aid broke. It snapped off where the plastic tube joins the actual metal housing, and I was fearing it may not be fixable. (Thankfully it was!) I debated waiting until today, but, as I said, I’m glad I chose the nicer day to travel.

I wondered if the city streets would be empty, but no — I saw about a third of the usual traffic for that time of day. Which made it quite nice for a timid person like myself trying to merge onto normally crowded main arteries. I did see a few pedestrians, about a quarter of what we would usually see walking on the main street sidewalks. stopped at Walmart for groceries; again, the numbers were reduced to about a third of the usual shoppers.

En route, I saw a number of migrating birds, including about five flocks of Canada geese. Some of these were being pedestrians, strolling around the harvested fields, gleaning what they could. Many were floating on small snow-melt ponds. Three of the flocks were quite large, maybe 50–80 birds. So the birds haven’t changed their course in spite of the current human standstill.

Admiring the Ads

The Ragtag Daily Prompt was SLICK and I’m finally formulating a response to the prompt. Although there are many different ways to illustrate SLICK, it wasn’t until I was reading the telephone book this evening that an idea gelled.

No, I’m not so bored that I’ve taken to reading the phone book. We were looking for the name of a Garden Center that we visited about ten years ago, but it seems to have closed down. Then my gaze strayed to the next page and I noticed an advertisement for a business called “Ace of Carts.” As you can imagine, they sell golf carts and other small utility vehicles.

This piqued my curiosity so I did a little more finger-walking through the Yellow Pages and spotted some other business names using puns and/or alliterative ads. Depending on your sense of humor, you may call them SLICK, CUTE, or just TACKY.

Here are a few I found in the phone book:
“Reigning Cats and Dogs” pet grooming salon
“Waggin’ Wheels” mobile pet grooming
“Step Ahead Shoes”
“Crackmaster” glass repair specialists

And here are a few I’ve dreamed up, in case anyone’s interested in starting a new business:
“The Problem Shrinker” Counseling service
“I. Watchwell” Security devices
“Tall Street” Men’s business attire
“Pickled Pig Leather Goods”
“Julius Sneezer Allergy specialist” …or…
“Julius Tweezer” Unwanted hair removed quickly and painlessly.
“Over the Hill” Used Book Nook
“Nosh & Nibble Catering”

Have you seen any funny/slick/tacky business names or ads lately?

“Older Than Dirt”

I was talking with a friend yesterday and she asked me if I felt a year older now. No, not a whole year older. However, I just came across a file while scrolling through my DropBox and as I reread it, I realized that I, too, am “older than dirt.”
Renee Boomer shared these thoughts about eight years ago. They’re surely worth posting again. I hope they give you youngsters under fifty a smile today, too.

Man reflectingMy husband always tells the grandchildren that he is ‘older than dirt’. They find that quite funny. When I was approaching my sixtieth birthday they looked at me and said, “Gamma, now you will be ‘older than dirt’ just like Papa.
Ha-ha. They will have their turn.

Old-Time Memories

When my Dad was cleaning out my grandmother’s house he brought me an old Royal Crown Cola bottle. In the bottle top was a stopper with a bunch of holes in it. I knew immediately what it was, but my daughter had no idea.
She thought they had tried to make it a salt shaker or something. I knew it as the bottle that sat on the end of the ironing board to ‘sprinkle’ clothes with because we didn’t have steam irons. Man, I am old!

How many of these do you remember?
– Head lights dimmer switches on the floor.
– Ignition switches on the dashboard.
– Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.
– Soldering irons you heat on a gas burner.
– Using hand signals for cars without turn signals.
— Ice boxes and home delivery of ice.
— Galvanized steel bath tubs.
Toy doll in tub

Here’s an official Older Than Dirt Quiz :
Count all the ones that you remember not the ones you were told about.
Then see your rating at the bottom. 🙂

Candy cigarettes
Coffee shops with table-side juke boxes
Home milk delivery in glass bottles
Telephone party lines
Newsreels before the movie
TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the morning. There were only 3 channels — if you were fortunate!
Peashooters
Howdy Doody
45 RPM records
Hi-fi’s
Metal ice trays with lever
Blue flashbulb
Cork popguns
Studebakers
Wash tub wringers

If you remembered 0-3 = You’re still young
If you remembered 3-6 = You are getting older
If you remembered 7-10 = Don’t tell your age
If you remembered 11-15 = You’re older than dirt!

I might be “older than dirt” but those memories are some of the best parts of my life!

Sandwich Spread

Sandwich.freeThe Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is SANDWICH

You’re all welcome to join the fun and post a poem, prose, photo, pertaining to the noble SANDWICH. And since I was the one who offered this prompt, I’d better respond, too. Here’s a little story my mom-in-law once told.

Years ago a busy mother, approaching middle age and broadening her…er…personal horizon, was visiting her doctor and he was concerned about her weight problem. (This was back in the 50s, while it was politically okay for a doctor to mention such things.)

“Your heart’s under too much strain, Helen. I think for your heart, and for the good of your overall health, that you’d better take off some of that weight.”

Helen sighed. “I’ve tried cutting back, but I just can’t seem to lose a pound. Even when I eat less and am on the run all day, I still don’t lose weight.”

“What foods do you normally eat?”

“Whatever I can put between two slices of bread.”

“Ah!” The doctor smiled. “Let’s start there.”

The Nursing Home

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning was HABITAT

asia-1822460_640Last night I was reading some poems written by a man visiting his aged mother in the nursing home, and decided to write one myself, about an incident that happened when my Mom-in-law was 97. She had dementia, but not the total loss of Alzheimer’s, so she still had a sense of where she was living.

Wheeling Mom around the nursing home
we find the visitors’ room almost empty today.
Just one old gent in his wheelchair, staring silently
in peaceful meditation — or frustration?

We stop awhile in our rambling – and why not?
We’re just killing time, really. The last hours of a lifetime.
I pick a spot by the picture window and we gaze outside.
Beautiful yard. Even if her vision’s fuzzy, I hope
she can still catch some of the spring colour.

She looks around the huge room, discerning
a bit of the high ceilings and classy woodwork.
“My grandfather built this house,”
she informs the man, with a touch of pride,
not remembering that this isn’t a house.

When we first brought her here she thought
it was a junkyard, the final habitat of old and unwanted.
But that memory’s gone; now, thankfully, she likes
this place her grandpa built — sometimes just worked on.

“You don’t know what you’re talking about,”
the old fellow snaps. One of the lucid ones, bad luck.
Held captive here by his lack of mobility, perhaps,
but wheelchairs don’t affect the understanding.

“He did!” Mom insists. “My grandpa built this place
and Uncle Pete helped.” Because didn’t they both live here?
And weren’t they both carpenters? Good ones, too!
She remembers her Dad getting letters from his sister;
she and Uncle Pete did live here, back in the ’30s.

Her dad was blind so she read everything to him,
so she knows. How dare this man contradict her!
Of course she remembers her grandpa. Even Uncle Pete –
if only from those letters Aunt Catherine wrote.

“You don’t know what you’re talking about!”
But his harsh retort just bounces off her certainty.
I decide to continue our stroll and wheel her down the hall
while she can still be right – and he’s definitely wrong.

Have Some of My Cake

Good morning to all my readers and followers.

Bright sunshine forecasting a beautiful day and I’m celebrating my birthday by having a coffee, doing the laundry, and generally staying home and avoiding all human contact. 🙂

Not quite true, as I’m cooking supper at the seniors’ residence this afternoon; also, my dear husband gave me a card and a kiss before he left to pick up a few groceries. Thankfully,  I can visit online as well, so won’t you all join me this morning for a cup of coffee, a piece of cake, and a few relevant verses.

CoffeeCake.Farooq Sharif

Here are a few haiku I wrote yesterday, combining thoughts of warmer days to come with our current situation:

morning joggers
run rings around
my safe space

a bumblebee
not knowing the law
comes way too close

if only mosquitoes would get the point of social distancing