Monday, March 28, 2011


     Writing this column has many advantages.  I have made so many new friends of some of our readers, and a blast from the past, as an old friend contacted me.     
     Friendship is something that is very precious to each of us.  We have longtime childhood friends and new ones, who we are just cultivating.  
     Friends are there for you, no matter what.  They stand by you through the peaks and the valleys of life.  When you are in the depths of despair, your friend will reach down, take your hand, and lead you back.  But, how often do you let your friends know just how much they mean to you.  
     Friendships are like beautiful flowers in a garden, they need loving care or they die.  How long has it been since you reached out to a friend from the past, someone that you have lost touch with over the years?
     I often wondered about an old friend who used to own the Desert Lanes, way back in the ‘60’s, I think it was.  His name is Harland Garriott, a man I will never forget.  He was a handsome devil, with a great sense of humor and always ready to help.  Of course, he was a very good bowler, but even better than that he was a good friend.  
     I lost touch with Harland when he sold the lanes and moved away.  I didn’t know where he went, but that didn’t stop me from thinking about him now and then.  My husband and I used to talk about Harland often and wondered what he was doing.  We questioned whether he got married and finally settled down.
     Perhaps I will find out about my old buddy, because he happened to read my column in the East Oregonian and e-mailed me the other day.  What a surprise that was.  I ran across a picture of my old bowling team last week, which brought him to mind, and it wasn’t two days later that his e-mail arrived.  Now, is that mental telepathy or what?  I wrote back to find out where he lived so we could connect again, but I haven’t heard from him yet.  I hope I do.  I would like to know if he has had a good life, as I have.
     Old friends are wonderful and comfortable, but new friends are extra special as well.  I recently made a new friend of one of our readers when she called to invite me to a recital in Pendleton.  We met for a salad before the recital, our first meeting, although we have talked on the phone a few times.  
     It is exciting to make new friends, especially when you have something in common.  Our love of music and art gave us a place to begin our friendship.  
     The minute I saw Calista Hutchinson enter the restaurant I just knew she had to be an artistic person.  Cally, as her friends call her, looked as I imagined she would.  She was tall and beautiful, with a casual hair-do that framed her tanned face and twinkling eyes.  She was dressed in a stylish, peach sweater that lay softly over a long flowing skirt that fell to her ankles.  She wore large silver hoop earrings, that matched her hair, and bracelets that jingled as she moved.  Cally is definitely a woman that I will enjoy getting to know.
      I do love writing this column!  There are so many wonderful percs that go with it, and I found two of them this month with a voice from the past, and the chance to meet a lovely new friend.  Isn’t life great!          

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


     Television programs brings us a subject that fascinates me…paranormal events…ghosts. 
     The show, “Medium,” was a huge success and an Emmy winner for NBC, where Allison DuBoer uncover clues to missing persons and murder suspects through dreams and visions.  This is based on true-life experiences.
     Precognition, mediums, telekinetic, and ghosts have always sparked my interest.  I read about them often.  Sylvia Brown wrote two books on the subject, that I read, and a good book by Allison DuBoer that led to the television show.
     This season brings us “Ghost Whisperer,” about spirits that talk to a woman who can actually see them and they send messages to their loved ones through her, so they can cross over.
     Because I enjoy reading about ghosts I picked up the book, “New York City Ghost Stories,” by Charles J. Adams III.  I visited a couple of places that are known ghost haunts in New York, last time I was there, but to no avail.  I didn’t see even one ghost.  I wish I had.       
     New York has 310 square miles and over seven million people living in Manhattan.  It didn’t surprise me that there had been ghostly sightings throughout the City.  With all the old skyscrapers reaching into the clouds and old renovated buildings, there was bound to be tales of the supernatural.
     There was the classic bizarre tale told by John Haynes, a trolley motorman, of the Tombstone-Toting Ghost on Staten Island, gliding through the cemetery wall carrying a tombstone on his back.  He saw him again a couple of weeks later floating through a car and out a closed window.  It scared him half to death.
     I am inclined to believe the stories, because my mother was a sensitive woman who wouldn’t go to anybody’s funeral, because the spirit of that person would visit her in the night.
     One night, mother was startled and sat up in bed.  She saw her mother, Caroline, standing at the foot of her bed at 4:00 in the morning.  She asked her mother what she was doing there so late at night, and her mother said, “I just wanted to say goodbye, and I love you.”
     Mom was half asleep and said, “Goodnight mother, I love you too,” and went back to sleep.  The next morning she received a phone call that her mother had died at 4:00 a.m. that morning; the exact time she visited my mother’s bedroom.  A spirit saying goodbye?  Perhaps!
     Another time mother was crocheting in the living room and I was reading on the couch.  Suddenly, mother jumped up, scattering her crocheting across the floor.  She said, “Freddie has been in an accident.”  Sure enough ten minutes later the phone rang and it was the police, Freddie had been in an accident and was taken to the hospital with a shattered leg.
     How could I not believe what I just saw with my own eyes?  After all, mom did know the minute Freddie was injured.  It’s weird, I know, but how else can you explain it?
     I’m sure you have had an experience where you are thinking of a friend and you pick up the phone to dial her number and she was on the line.  Coincidence?  Maybe!  Telepathy?  Who knows.
     Whether you believe in physic phenomenon or not, it makes good television and great ghost stories around a campfire.  What do you think?  Are there physics who can read the future? Are there spirits that visit us?  The unexplainable is always fascinating.  It’s something to think about.

Monday, March 21, 2011


     While I was pressing a few things Tuesday, I thought about how the iron has evolved from the flat-iron to the steam iron.  I don’t remember the flat-iron, but I do remember sweating over an ironing board all day.  
     Do you remember when you had to start ironing your own clothes?
     When I was twelve I learned to iron my clothes and those of my brothers, with a regular old dry iron, long before the steam iron came along.
     Monday was always wash day and Tuesday we ironed, including the sheets, until everything was done.  After we took the wash off the clothesline, we sprinkled the clothes and rolled them up to be ironed the next day.  You couldn’t leave them damp too long or they became moldy and you had to bleach them to get out the mold spots.
     Remember those days?  If you do, you must be as old as I am. 
     I was sure glad when mother approved my ironing skills and taught me how to use the Mangle.  You are probably asking, “What in the world is a mangle?”  A mangle was a round, padded roller that went round and round with a padded cover that came down on the roller to press your clothes.  You brought the padded cover down with a lever you worked with your knee and the clothes rolled between them for beautifully ironed clothes.  We did all our sheets, pillow slips, table cloths, and handkerchiefs; in those days we ironed everything, not like today with all the permanent pressed and wrinkle-resistant clothing.  Most of the clothes in those days were 100% cotton and they wrinkled like crazy.
     I was so proud when I was good enough to iron my father’s white dress shirts on the mangle and boy that took a lot of practice, it was quite an accomplishment.  The clothes looked like they had been cleaned and pressed, they were so crisp and new looking.
     The mangle didn’t make it from Michigan to California, and I wonder just what happened to it.  Mom probably sold it along with many of our other things.  I wish we had brought it with us; it would have saved me many hours of tedious work.
     The iron has evolved through the years like everything else.  We started out with Charcoal Irons which were filled with embers of wood or coal to iron the clothes.  They had vent holes in the top of the iron and sometimes ash would escape from the holes and land on the garments.
     Then there was the Spirit Iron that was filled with liquid fuel, such as kerosene.  The kerosene iron was lit by preheating the fuel manifold with methyloted spirits, pumping up the kerosene fuel tank and slowly opening the regulator valve.  
     There was the Flat Sad Irons, meaning heavy irons not unhappy ones, such as:  heavy tailors seam irons, hat maker irons, and polishing irons.  
     The first electric iron was patented in American in 1882 by Henry W. Seeley of New York City, and it weighed 15 pounds.  The steam iron came along in 1950 and now we even have a cordless iron, all of which are light weight and easy to use.
     Now, that’s probably more information than you every wanted to hear about the iron, but I wanted to know, so I went to to look up its history.  All these irons may be way before our time, but interesting.  
     As for me, I wish I still had my great old Mangle to do my ironing. 


     Have you looked in the mirror lately?  Are you beginning to resemble one of your parents?  Most of us do!
     We all take after our parents in one way or another.  We have some of the character traits belonging to our mom or dad, such as their eyes, hair, personality, or their smile.  Whether we like it or not we will probably begin to look like one of them, as we grow older.  I know I do.
     When a man picks a woman for his life partner, he only has to look at her mother to see what she will probably look like in thirty years.  My husband saw my mother, short, round, and with a happy disposition, so he must have expected me to become “round” as I aged.  (I already had the happy disposition.)  Well, he was right, I am definitely round…well, not too round.
     The other morning as I stepped out of the shower and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I said, “My God, I’m my mother.”  It was like I was looking into her eyes once again.  It took me by surprise!  I don’t know why, I look a little like my mother.  I guess I had visions of growing old with a slender, well-defined body, and a face with few wrinkles.  That was a daydream; it simply isn’t in the cards.
     I catch sight of myself passing the mirror and I see deep lines that are multiplying daily.  I guess this all comes with age, but I’m not ready for old age yet.  I have too much living to do.
     We all try to put the skids on growing older, with creams, lotions, exercise, and well-balanced meals, but it all comes back to the genes we have inherited from our parents, doesn’t it?  That is unless you work hard at keeping your body tight and muscular, with lots of exercise, which I haven’t.
      Do you suppose it’s too late to firm up the arms that look like turkey waddle, or leg muscles that have atrophied over time?  I do know that walking isn’t enough.  You need a lot more exercise, anything you can do to stay in shape.
      I keep telling my friends that I’m not fat; I’m just short.  If I were five foot eight, I would be slender.  I just need to stretch a little that’s all.  That always makes them laugh.
     It’s too bad I didn’t inherit some of my father’s height; he was six foot, three inches tall.  I could have used some of that height.  I’m only five foot, one.  I didn’t get his height, but I got his type of nose, instead of mothers slender nose.  It’s too bad we can’t pick the traits we would like from each of our parents.  But, we can’t have everything, I don’t know why, but we can’t.  
     With everything my parents gave me, I am still an individual—just me.  And I like it that way.  I would like to think that my parents enjoyed watching me grow into the person I have become.  I know they were proud of me and that’s all that matters.
     I heard a phrase on TV the other night that said, “I may not be the person I want to be, but thank God I’m not the person I used to be.”  
     That says it all.  We are forever changing, to become the person we want to be; an individual like no other on earth.  We are all different, thank goodness, otherwise it would be a boring world…and it isn’t…at least, not my world. 

Friday, March 18, 2011


   More accidents occur in the home than any other place.  You might fall down the stairs, slip on a loose rug, or trip over furniture.   However, the biggest cause of accidents is human error…inattention.
     How many times have you tripped over a toy left on the floor, because you weren’t watching?  When you climb onto a chair instead of a step stool to fix something, I’ll bet you’ve sometimes lost your balance.  Of course, the children have bumps from falling off the furniture while playing.  Everyone has had an accident in the home at one time or another.
     Accidents usually happen when we are preoccupied with something other than what we are doing at the time.  Our mind tends to wander as we do menial tasks, like cleaning or carrying out the trash.  My thoughts are usually about columns ideas as I clean, or workout.  It seems to be good thinking time.
     I don’t know what I was thinking as I carried out the trash last Friday.  I had just finished cleaning and gathered four bags of trash to put into the trash can.  I slipped into my scuffs, (since I run around the house barefoot all of the time,) and started walking out to the trash can.  As I shuffled along the sidewalk, which is made of red patio blocks, I tripped on a broken block and suddenly I found myself airborne.  Everything happened in slow motion from then on.  The trash bags pushed against my stomach, my knees hit the sidewalk, and I felt my nose sliding across the concrete, and then my head slammed against the sidewalk with a thud. I saw stars!  
     I uttered a few seafaring terms and picked myself up, tried to brush the dirt from my clothes and threw the trash in the dump.  I figured that is what you get when you procrastinate.  I should have replaced that broken block long ago.
     Looking at my reflection in the mirror was a shock.  My forehead had a huge goose egg, with a bruise forming across my eyebrow, and the scratches were dripping blood.  My nose was beginning to swell from the scrape down the side of it, and my upper lip had two gouges in it, as well.  And it was going to get worse, before it got better.  
     I just stood there laughing at my clumsiness and thought to my self, “A broken arm last year and now this?  What will next year bring?”
     My head ached, so I took two Aleve and put an ice pack on my face to stop the swelling.  I looked like I had been used as a punching bag.  What would people think when they saw me?  
     “Oh darn,” I said, “I need groceries.”
     Better I do my shopping now, before these scrapes scab over and look even worse.  
     As I pushed the cart around the market, I could see people turn and look at me with questioning eyes.  I couldn’t hear what they said, but they were probably wondering who hit me.  I was so embarrassed! 
     I quickly filled my basket and got in the checkout line, hoping to get out without more questioning glances.  No luck!  
     The woman in front of me turned around and with a surprised look said, “Ouch!  That looks awful!”
      Trying to be nonchalant about it, I laughed and said, “This isn’t bad; you should see the other guy.”    

Monday, March 14, 2011


    While pouring through thousands of pictures, for the Boardman relocation film that was made a few years ago, memories of those years came flooding back from the deepest recesses of my mind.
     The day we arrived in Boardman, March 1953, there were just 153 people in the whole town.  We moved from Pasadena, CA, so the shock was unbelievable for me.
The town consisted of a Post Office, General Mercantile, and two grocery stores.  That’s pretty small after Pasadena.  
     I found pictures from the 1960’s of houses that belonged to friends long since gone, and others of the Columbia River, and snow, lots and lots of snow.  There was one picture of the steel electrical towers in the desert that had been turned into pretzels during a twister wind back then.
     It’s strange how simple pictures can conjure up memories you thought were lost forever.  More pictures, more memories, bringing back those memories…priceless.  What a great way to spend a weekend.
     Something else I found, while scavenging for photos, was an article about my parents from 1964.  The article told the story of my parents who were spending their first year alone, after being married for 35 years.  For all of their married life they had taken care of others in addition to their immediate family.  They cared for their parents, brothers, aunts, uncles, and as if that wasn’t enough, they cared for foster kids at the same time.  Dad worked two jobs his whole life, just to make ends meet.  They were good Christian people and I loved them very much.
     After reading the article over and over to feel their presences, I turned the paper over to be greeted by an advertisement from the Mayfair market, in Monterey Park, CA, where my parents lived after selling the house I grew up in.
     Now, talk about nostalgia, this really brought back memories of how low the prices were in 1964, at least, in comparison to today.  If we had prices like this today, the budget might come out even at the end of the month.
     Check out these prices:  Salad oil for $.19 a bottle, eggs at $.37 a dozen, and bananas were 2 lbs. for $.25.  Terrific!  How about ground beef for $.35 a lb. or pork roast for $.29 a lb. and porterhouse steak at $.95 a lb.  I’ll bet you would love to be able to buy French fries for $.10 a bag.  I wish those prices were in today’s grocery stores, maybe my Social Security check would last a whole month.  
     I have been looking for a new pair of dress shoes and I laughed when I found an ad in this old paper for high-heel pumps for $5.99, with a matching handbag for $1.99.  Now I could afford those shoes.  And I would love to have the nylons that were listed for $.29 a pair.
     There is one more thing that caught my eye in an ad.  You could join the Gym n’ Swim for $1.00 a visit, with a workout designed especially for you.  Try that today.
     When you make out your shopping list this weekend, remember, this isn’t 1964.  But, don’t you wish it was…at least for the prices.
     Things sure have gone up in price during the last few decades, but so have wages.  Although, the wages are a little slow in catching up with the cost of living.
     Things change rapidly over the years, but pictures and memories don’t.  Bring out your wonderful old photos and the memories will follow.  

Sunday, March 13, 2011


     Spring is here and this brings out “stoop sitting.”  You are probably asking yourself, “What in the world is stoop sitting?”  Well, it is sitting on the front steps in the evening, chatting with your neighbors.  When I was very young, (many, many years ago) Mom and Dad sat on the steps of our house and the neighbors gravitated toward them like a magnet.  Why they sat on the steps, when there was a perfectly good porch with chairs, I don’t know.  Maybe it was more personal on the steps.
     But that was long ago and now, if you sit on the porch at all, you probably call it a deck and it is the place to barbecue and entertain your friends.  Backyard barbecues are popular these days, but 60 years ago no one had a deck or a barbecue, so the steps had to do.
     Many a tall tale was spun on the steps of our home back in Berkley, Michigan, and many friendships blossomed with the words, “Sit down awhile.”
     The front stoop was where you kissed your boyfriend goodnight, before he walked you to the door, under the bright porch light where everyone could see you.  There was always a front porch swing where you could swing and spoon with your boyfriend, while mom and dad waited patiently for you to come indoors.  The front porch was the perfect place to sit with your sweetheart and dream about your future together; planning your dream wedding, while sharing a cold lemonade on a warm evening.
     We sat on the front porch and churned our homemade ice cream and the sound of the tub grating against the ice always attracted the neighbors.  Ice cream was not complete without fresh wild strawberries that we picked in the afternoon in the woods behind grandma’s house.  Sometimes mom served a hot apple pie, fresh from the oven, to compliment the rich, smooth ice cream.  
     It’s been a long time since I turned the crank on the old ice cream freezer.  We used to make all different flavors, including chocolate, strawberry, raspberry, and peanut butter, which was remarkably good even though it doesn’t sound very appetizing.  Maybe it was the company that surrounded the freezer that made the ice cream taste so wonderful.  I miss those special times with our long-forgotten neighbors from the past.
     In those days most of our get-togethers were spontaneous, which made it even more fun.  When ‘stoop sitting’ and your friends passed by on their evening constitutional, all you had to say was “Hello” and they would stop to chat awhile.  We children played hide and seek or kick the can, out in the road, and some summer evenings we chased fireflies, while the parents talked.  
     Of course, there was no television in those days, just the radio, so you made your own fun.  Kids played outdoors most evenings until the familiar cry from mom, “Children, come in now, it’s time for bed.”  Times were simpler then.
     Today’s children, miss some of the fun of “Let’s Pretend,” like when we chased the bad guys and fantasized we were the Lone Ranger.  
     On a summer’s day the sandlot was filled with kids playing baseball and pretending to be Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, or Jackie Robinson.  I got quite a few jammed fingers playing baseball with the boys, but I could hit with the best of them. (I was a real Tomboy.)  
     Oh, how I love reminiscing about the “good ole’ days” when life was simple and I sat on the front porch dreaming of my happily ever after future.  Do you remember?

Friday, March 11, 2011


    There are many things that will evoke memories of, shall we say, the good old days.  We all have memories of little things that bring on a smile, perhaps unimportant by today’s standards, but still important to us nevertheless.
     It doesn’t take much to bring those memories to the surface, perhaps a song, a smell, or a fleeting glance of someone that looks familiar.  Whatever it takes, it’s sweet to remember.
     Each morning I turn on the television, not to watch a program, but to listen to the music.  I love the Big Band sound and that’s what gets me started each day.  Music is soothing, especially good music.  
     I’m not saying that today’s music isn’t good; it just isn’t what I was brought up on.  In the thirty’s and forty’s it was the big bands, with Doris Day, the Modernaires, Frank Sinatra, Margaret Whiting, and all the rest of the favorites of that era.  
     One of my favorites was Johnny Mathis.  I remember his first movie at the age of seventeen, and his melodious voice has stayed popular all through the years.  His voice has mellowed with time, but it still conjures up visions of my teen years.  There was nothing like dancing cheek-to-cheek at the high school sock hop, with one of his records playing on the phonograph.
     I was brought up on all types of music.  My dad liked western music, mom was into opera, my brothers didn’t care as long as they could dance to it, and grandmother liked gospel music.  
     We were a musical family.  My older brother played the drums, which drove everybody nuts, my little brother played the violin, that was more like a cat yowling than music, and mom was on the piano, with me on the xylophone.  We made music all right, but it wasn’t the kind on the radio, although we loved doing it.  At least we were playing as a family.  Too bad we weren’t good.
     Music has always been a part of my life.  When I was little…really little…I tap- danced and sang on The Children’s Hour, on WWJ radio in Detroit, MI.  When I grew up I sang in church, operettas, radio, and finally on television in the early years.  Music was an important part of my life    
     I was excited when I had a guest spot with Tex Williams band.  His deep voice rumbled when he sang, “Smoke, Smoke, Smoke that Cigarette.”  An experience I will never forget.
     One day I was at a friend’s house, when Jack Russell came to visit.  He was a dancer and wrote some beautiful music that he encouraged me to sing.  Jack and I became a song and dance team and did guest spots on television in the early ‘50’s.    
     My favorite memories of family music were on Sunday evenings, gathered around the piano, when mom and dad sang duets for us.  They loved Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy and sang many of their songs.  They harmonized beautifully.    
     Now, I sit on my deck in the evening, trying to teach myself how to play a guitar that is too big for my short arms.  I’m sure I can learn, with some help, given a few years of practice and a lot of determination.  At least, I can still make music and that’s all that matters. 
     Music will always be a part of my life.  It’s the first thing I hear in the morning and the last thing I hear at night.
     My memories will continue to come streaming back, every time I hear the strains of a romantic old song.  

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


     We’re only half way through March and already I’ve checked off two of my New Year’s Resolutions.  If this keeps up I may accomplish all of them by the end of December.  
     The first two Resolutions were to sell my house and find a place that I could fix up the way I wanted it.   A room of my own!  For the first time in my life I know what I want…and have it, I will.  
     I sold my house!  Cross that one off my list.  Lord willing, we will close the middle of February.  A nice young couple is buying my house and they will fit into the neighborhood very nicely.  
     I want to fit in too, so I had to start looking for somewhere to move.  Now if I was to rent an apartment, the landlord may not look kindly on my changing everything to suit my needs.  So finding an apartment, with a garage to house my pride and joy, was not as easy as I though it would be.  I have never rented before, we have always owned our home, so I didn’t realize how difficult it was to find just what I wanted and the freedom to put in new carpet, a stove I love to cook on, and to paint the walls my colors.
     I was about to give up and buy a doublewide mobile home that I had my eye on, when I found they had sold it.  So, since I believe my life is planned for me, the mobile home sale was a sign I wasn’t suppose to have it.  
     That’s when my daughter suggested that I live in her rental across the street from her.  I have always worried about being too close to my family, after being a caregiver for so long I wanted my privacy.  I also didn’t want to rely on my children to look after me.  But, my daughter said it would be fine and her renter was about to leave.  The topper was that she would let me do anything I wanted to the place…make it my own, so to speak and the rent was perfect.  Now the only thing I had to worry about was a garage for my car.  But that shouldn’t be a problem; I’ll just have one built.  It’s as simple as that.  Cross off the second resolution.
     After spending time helping my other daughter in Greenwich, CT.  move to a new house, I decided that I wouldn’t lift a finger when I moved.  So I called the movers for an estimate on moving me to Boardman.  It wasn’t too bad…so they can do everything for me.  How does that sound?  As for me, I’ll sit and drink coffee and tell them where everything goes.  Works for me!  
     It is so fantastic to think that I am really starting over.  Out with the old and in with the new.  It isn’t very often you can do something like that for yourself.  
     Have you ever wanted to just throw everything out and buy all new things for your new home?  I have!  And, that’s exactly what I am going to do.  I sold my bedroom set, all the tables, lamps, dressers, chairs and everything else I didn’t want and I’m going to start from scratch.  The furniture stores will love my decision.
     Sort of apropos, I will celebrate my 50th wedding anniversary this March, with a new life, in a new home, where I can write to my hearts content.  I’m truly blessed!
     A room of my own!  What more could I ask?

Monday, March 7, 2011


     We all do dumb things once in a while and I’m no exception.  I’m always laughing at myself for some ridiculous thing I’ve done.
     Like, when I fell in the bath tub, crossways, while standing on a chair hanging curtains in the bathroom.
     And, just before leaving for my first cruise to Bermuda, I tripped over a box and landed head first in a bucket, breaking my arm as I fell. 
     And there was the time I tripped on the sidewalk blocks and slid on my nose?
     Now, I thought that I had learned my lessons from these accidents, so I would be careful in the future, when working around the house.  After all, statistics prove that most accidents happen in and around the house.  
     I guess I didn’t learn my lesson very well, because I did it again---yes, another dumb thing.
     Let me tell you the story of the leaves and the garbage can.  And, I hope you learn something from it.
     We had just finished celebrating my daughter and granddaughter’s birthdays.  (They are both on the same day.)  It was a nice day as I walked across the street to my little corner of the world, and decided to finish a job I started the day before.
     I had raked up a few piles of leaves and debris, trying to clean up around the yard, it was looking pretty bad.  There were about five piles of leaves and branches scattered around the yard.  The wind was beginning to blow, so I hurried to get them into the garbage can before they were scattered around the yard again.
     I pushed the garbage can close to the first pile of leaves, flipped open the lid, and started picking up arm loads of leaves.  As the wind picked up, I grabbed the coal shovel to finish the job faster.  I was about to shovel in the last pile of leaves, which was a few feet away, so I started to push the can closer to the leaves when it stopped.  It was caught on one of the patio bricks that make up my sidewalk, so I tilted the garbage can toward me to get it over the block and as I did, I stepped on the lid that was hanging down, the garbage can fell toward me and I plunged head first into that garbage can and was buried in leaves.
     After shouting a few sea-faring terms, I got up, dusted myself off and finished my job.
     When I shed my clothes to take a shower and wash the dirt and leaves out of my hair, I wasn’t surprised by the bruises that covered my legs.  One on the right leg was extremely bad, and as black as the ace of spades and swelling fast.  By the time I was dresses it was three times the size of my other leg and it hurt like the devil.  I could walk on it, so nothing was broken.  Thank God!  That leg caught the edge of the garbage can lid and took the brunt of the fall.
     I brought out the ice pack and elevated my leg in the recliner to help the swelling and keep it from throbbing so badly.  I thought to myself, “If I had a brain I’d be dangerous.”
     It’s been a week now, and most of the swelling is gone and my leg is now purple instead of black and blue.  The leg still has a lump the size of my hand and it still hurts when touched, but at least I can get around again, without pain.
     We humans do some of the dumbest things.  If only I had closed the lid before I moved the garbage can, this wouldn’t have happened.   And, it had to happen right before I am about to go back to New York.  Maybe it is some sort of Freudian slip.  Go Figure!