An Interesting Home

Happy Birthday to our son-in-law. As they say, “The big 40!” Picnic supper planned for family and friends this evening at our school.

This morning I came back down to earth from the whirlwind I’ve been caught up in for the past two days. I’ve been turning over ideas for the title, cover, content of my next book, but now have recalled all the other projects that need to be finished first. 🙂 I’m still enthused about compiling a second book of flash fiction stories, but will work at it little by little over time rather than trying to do it all in a rush.

One thing I remembered is that I want to start posting on Tree Top Haiku again, and so have scheduled a week’s worth of posts, to start next Monday.

We were sitting at the dinner table enjoying some moments of peace and quiet after our meal when what to our wondering ears did appear but the unique tweeting of tree swallows. I can scarcely believe the first ones have returned already. Only a few, though. I have yet to see the main migration, but my impression has been that fewer are coming back nowadays. Last year we didn’t have nearly as many as in the first years when I started putting up nest boxes for them, but this may be part of a cycle. I hope so; I really enjoy their friendly chipping.

And now, here’s one quick non-fiction story from years ago that I plan to put in my next book.

The difference between a man’s perspective and a woman’s can give us a real chuckle at times.

When we sold our home in Ontario, our realtor, Paul C, told us about another house he’d been asked to sell. He says he walked up to the living room window and looked in — there being no glass to interfere with his view.

The house had running water of a sort. There was a large hole cut in the kitchen floor; as he looked down he could see an open well about twelve feet below. The owner had hooked up an old washing machine motor and pipe beside the hole so they could pump water into the kitchen sink.

Paul mentioned a few other “unique” features that I forget now. He was delighted when someone actually came forward with an “as is” offer on the place. The day he took the paperwork over for the owner to sign, the sad fellow sat there for awhile after accepting the offer, then threw his arms out in despair and wailed, “I can’t figure it. All this luxury and she left me!”

Paul was all sympathy. “Yep. There’s no understanding women.”

I asked him, “And did a bee fly in the window opening right then and sting you?”

He laughed. “Well, maybe it should have.”

At that moment we understood each other perfectly.

Happy Birthday, Dear!

Today my husband is celebrating birthday #76.
Here’s a poem in honor of the occasion.

BD cake--one candle.jpgA HAPPY OLD AGE

A little more tired at the close of the day,
a little less anxious to have our own way.
A little less care for gain or gold,
a little more zest for the days of old.
A broader view and a saner mind,
a little more thought for all mankind.
A little more love for the friends of youth,
a little more zeal for established truth.
A little more charity in our views,
a little less thirst for the latest news.
A little more leisure to sit and dream,
a little more real those things unseen.

—Author unknown to me.

Short Time to Travel Together

One day a young girl on her way home boarded a city bus and took a seat. Mary enjoyed the ride for the first few blocks, but then a large lady sat down beside her, taking up most of the seat and squashing Mary up against the window.

Worse yet, the woman was hanging onto several big packages; these bumped Mary in the face whenever the bus jounced or the woman shifted in her seat. She was thankful when the woman finally reached her destination and got off.

Later she told her brother about her ride home and he became indignant on her behalf. “Why didn’t you just tell her she should move over and stop crowding you. After all, you were in the seat first.”

“Oh, well,” Mary replied. “We had such a little way to travel together. I thought I could bear it for that short while.”

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At times we feel we can hardly put up with certain people, co-workers or relatives. Their attitudes or behavior just grates on us. We’re all into the moment and think this will never end. Then in a short while they’re gone from our lives and we carry on, a bit relieved. Later we may even look back and appreciate some aspect of their personalities, or some lesson we learned from them. If we adopt Mary’s attitude, the ride can be less irritating.

In the end we’ll see that we had such a short distance to go together.

“Our understanding of how to live with one another is still far behind our knowledge of how to destroy one another.” – Lyndon B Johnson

André’s Blue Steak

“What is so Rare as a Steak Fried Blue?”
or “What to Do When Diners Linger at the Table”

André Gauvreau was in his 50s and on disability pension because of heart trouble and diabetes when we met him, so he had lots of time and he loved to visit. Through the years he’d worked at various cooking jobs across Canada and had quite the tales to tell.

In one of his accounts he was the head cook at a certain mining camp in northern Alberta and part of his job was to wash the dining room floor after dinner. But sometimes he had trouble getting the fellows out of the dining hall after the meal was over; they were inclined to sit for a lengthy gab-fest after the dishes were cleared away.

Then André discovered an effective method of clearing the dining room. Being French Canadian, he liked his steaks “blue”: charred on both sides and very rare inside. So after the other men had eaten he’d take a raw steak and throw it on the grill to singe it, then flip it over and singe the other side. Next he’d fork it onto his plate, take his utensils and go sit in the midst of the loiterers to have his meal.

He’d slice into the steak and blood would ooze out all over the plate. With great relish he’d start chowing down. The other guys took one look at his plate and remembered they had things to do elsewhere. He said it worked every time.

I’m sure our Aunt Helen would have said the same thing to him that she said to Uncle Henry one day when he’d fried himself a very rare steak. He asked her if she wanted part of it and she told him, “No. I can still hear that calf bawling!”