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.”

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

Hanging On

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is HANG ON
Fandango’s One-Word Challenge is CONTEMPLATE

temp-challenge

So this morning I’ve been contemplating the various aspects of hanging on. Consider the tree in this photo. It had no easy way in life; it didn’t just thrust its roots down into nutrient-rich soil and grow. Rather, it had to made its own spot and hang on.

A seed sprouted in some bit of dirt that accumulated in a crevice, taking what nourishment it could get from the rainfall. Then its root drilled into the rock tendril by tendril, day after day, to anchor itself against the wild winds that would tear it out. As its root wedged the rock apart, it collected more wind-blown soil and rain and kept on reaching for the sunlight above.

While the tree needed to put forth those efforts to anchor itself, of greater importance is WHAT it’s anchored to. It isn’t clinging to a mountain of cotton candy. That rock has stood from the beginning of time and will not be moved by storms that blast over it.

I recall an account I read after a tornado in Ontario years ago. A man was working in a Dept of Highways equipment shed when the workers heard the tornado bearing down on them.  In desperation this man grabbed some solid piece of steel equipment, hoping the twister wouldn’t carry him away. A moment later the tornado ripped the roof off the shed, sucked up the three-ton road grader nearby and carried it away. You could almost think the storm was making fun of his idea of “something solid.”

Snail.Bellezza87
Bellezza87 — Pixabay

Right now a wild virus has been sweeping across our whole planet, disrupting our lives like we never imagined anything could — short of a war. And here we are, poor creatures, trying to hang on and carry on as best we can.

We’ve been given many warnings and guidelines to help us stay healthy. Fearing shortages, people have rushed to stock up on necessities — probably making matters worse — but I trust we all know that hanging onto a mountain of toilet paper and dry pasta isn’t going to assure our survival.

How we weather the emotional part of this storm — and future storms — will be determined by what security, what type of rock, we’re hanging onto, won’t it?

In these scary times, here’s the Rock Christians are clinging to:

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 8:38-39

The Car, Harry Potter, or Donald Trump?

I had a fruitful trip to the hearing aid store yesterday; the audiologist upped the volume on my two hearing aids. I can now hear more than I ever wanted to. Shopping in stores was a general roar; our air cleaner sounded like a jet idling beside our window; plastic bag crinkles sounded like icicles crashing onto cement. To save my sanity I soon shut the hearing aids off.

Fortunately I have a little device at home called a Streamer, which I rarely use. It’s the remote volume control for my hearing aids, one that will also turn them to “phone” setting and stream the call into my hearing aids straight from my phone. However, I find it a nuisance for the most part; it’s always bumping against things, which messes up its settings. So the streamer stays in a drawer until urgently needed. We charged it up when we got home yesterday and I turned it on. Oh, joy! I was able to turn the volume in my hearing aids down to a normal level.

My hearing aids are ten years old now, and considered Obsolete — which means not fixable, not replaceable — so I asked the audiologist how much a new set of hearing aids would cost. I told him I need to prepare, decide what to sell so I can afford them. (No one wants your kidney when they find out you’ve had leukemia, so I need to think of other assets.)

He thought a moment, then answered, “Sell the car. A set of hearing aids would cost you about $3400.” He didn’t say “minimum.”

Well, yes, that would be the car. I shook my head. “Maybe I could write a bestseller? I’m a writer…and I understand the Harry Potter books author was broke and made her fortune with that series.”

Then I thought about my own writing. Not enough murder, mayhem, suspense, erotica, etc. “Trouble is, I don’t write bestseller-quality stuff,” I admitted.

“Write a book about Trump,” he said. “That could be a seller. Donald Trump, from a Saskatchewan perspective.”

Mulling the matter over later, I realized I’d easily spend $3400 traveling around the province researching “Donald Trump: A Saskatchewan perspective.” Furthermore, would readers in general, and the folks who make up the Bestseller list, be interested in knowing what we here in Sask think of him?

A Harry Potter-type fantasy, on the other hand, could be dreamed up, researched, and plotted right here at home. Hmm…

Selling the car would be easier.

Modern Times & Grandma

THE MODERN GRANDMA

The old rocking-chair will be empty today
for Grandma no longer is in it.
She’s off in her car to her office or shop;
she buzzes around every minute.
You won’t see her trundling off early to bed
from her chair in a warm chimney nook;
her typewriter’s clicking far into the night,
for Grandma is writing a book!

Our heroine never allows backward looks
to slow down her steady advancing;
there ‘s no baby-sitting for her anymore—
for Grandma has taken up dancing.
She isn’t content with her thoughts of old times,
with meager and second-hand knowledge.
So don’t bring your mending for Grandma to do
for Grandma has gone back to college!

🙂

I’ve Googled and found this poem listed as “Author Anonymous” in several books, with a few variations. I found this version in the 1976 Friendship Book of Francis Gay. None of them mentioned Grandma running for office, but modern grandparents are doing that, too.

Yes, the lot of grandparents has changed very much my grandparents’ day. We’ve lost some important connections and probably thrown too much wisdom “out with the bathwater,” as Grandma would say. But in many ways I’m very thankful for the freedom seniors have today.

At the Villa one day over dinner we talked about some of the changes that make it possible for handicapped people to get out and about, like walkers, motorized wheelchairs, sidewalk ramps. And then there are health benefits like cataract surgery and macular degeneration treatment to prevent blindness and various medications to regulate the heart and keep people active longer. So Grandma can go back to college. 🙂

I think of my Grandma, who went from home to home visiting her children, not often appreciated by the grands. She had basically no interaction with us except to reprove bad behaviour. The mentality back in her childhood would have been “children should be seen and not heard”; it was not for parents to have a rapport with their children.

One older man told his son, “I envy you that, that you young fathers are encouraged to be close with, and affectionate to, your children. When I was young, fathers were to represent Authority, be stern and dole out correction.”

Some widowed grandmothers a century ago were simply “taken in” by whoever of the children had the most room or time to care for her. I would—and I  think most grandmothers now would—far rather have their own small quarters in a senior’s residence than be the “fifth wheel” in a busy family.