The Good Old Days

Someone wrote about the time her father was cleaning out grandmother’s house brought her 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.”

My husband’s doctor mentioned that he and his nephew were listening to that old Jim Croche hit, “Operator.” When the song was done his nephew asked him, “What’s an operator?”

Are you old enough to remember operators putting through your long-distance calls? And when phone calls cost a dime?

How many of these other long-ago realities can you recall?
— Head-light dimmer switches on the floor.
— Frost shields on car windows. (for vehicles in colder climates)
— Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.
— Using hand signals for cars without turn signals.
— Candy cigarettes
— Coffee shops with table-side juke boxes
— Home milk delivery in glass bottles.
— TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show.
— Peashooters
— Ice boxes
— Metal ice trays with levers
— Blue flashbulb
— Roller skates
— Cork popguns
— Studebakers
— Wash tub wringers

Country Road

We’re making great time but
I notice
off to my right a gravel road
this busy highway
and curves
through a gentle valley,
at times behind golden grain,
scatterings of would-be
willow forest–
if abundant rain would only fall–
and loops
over an autumn-dusted hill.
Wise little road,
it chooses
to roam among topaz fields
while we harried travelers
zoom endlessly
through life on super highways,
something more important.

Image: Zdenek Buchta — Pixabay

Songs on the Trail

Waskesiu Lake trail
northern lights sizzle
across the heavens

Waskesiu Lake is located in Prince Albert National Park, Saskatchewan, Canada. The word means red deer or elk, in the Cree language.

wild wind thrashes
the tree limbs above
our sore necks
woodland notes
a screaming jay
protests our intrusion

Not every sound you hear in the woods is welcoming and soothing.