YES, I AM still here looking out this window on Main Street, and a great idea for this coronavirus shutdown has socially distanced itself into my mind.
That’s right. When you meet another motorist — wave.
If you drive past some people sitting safely apart on their porch — wave.
If you park beside someone loading a shopping cart full of toilet tissue into their camper trailer — wave.
See some kids on bicycles? Wave at them (if you’re old, this act will make the kids wonder what in the heck you are up to).
If you go by some Nashville Public Works Department folks doing their jobs to make our life easier and safer — wave.
See a police officer in his/her patrol vehicle keeping watch on businesses and homes? Wave.
I remember the late great Mike and Jean McCann who moved here from Kentucky. Mike was THE bigwig at what was then called Poulan. Mike once told me that after they moved here they were mystified because drivers in oncoming cars waved, whether or not they knew to whom they were waving.
Does that bother you? I asked. No, he answered, we think it is wonderful. It makes us feel like we’re among friends.
Not long after he retired and they moved back to Kentucky, he contacted me. I asked if he missed southwest Arkansas. What we miss the most, he said, is waving. Up here in Kentucky nobody waves.
He said that he and Jean had remained in the habit of waving to people whether or not they knew them. People probably think we’re crazy, he said.
So, I think waving as a goodwill gesture would help make the virus threat less depressing. Or, make us think there lots of crazies.
I’m not all talk, either. I will keep track of everyone who waves to me and I will make a list. Each week I will draw a name, and the person whose name I draw will get a complimentary J-Turn Warning Ticket, should it ever be needed (within 6 months, please).
Let’s wave. You could be the big winner!
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THE GOOD EARTH. I have no memory of when we got the plant. It was some kind of indoorsy palm tree. Looked tropical. My late wife must have bought it, so I’m sure we really, really needed it. It resided in a big yellow pot by a living room window for maybe 10-12 years.
My wife died in 2007 and I tried to take care of the plant. But after awhile it began shedding crackly old brown leaves and they made a mess that I was too lazy to remove.
One day in a huff I took it outside and threw it under the backyard hedge. The yellow pot rolled over on its side, and that’s the way I left it for at least two years. Then one day, while throwing something else into the junkyard under the hedge, I looked at the yellow pot.
Unbelievable!! There were healthy shoots growing at a 90-degree angle out of the pot. It had survived several winters without water or nourishment other than what was already in the potting soil.
I rescued the pot, turned it upright, cleaned it and put the plant back in its old position at the window. It once again grew tall, but after a couple of years began shedding again.
Last autumn, in another huff, I hauled the pot outside and left it under the patio cover where it could get no water and little sunlight. “Maybe the winter will kill it this time,” I said, dusting my hands.
Last week I looked into the pot.
Two healthy green shoots are poking up above the dry old potting soil.
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ANIMAL CRACKERS. The fly that tormented me for two weeks has finally been terminated. This time he/she/it decided to crawl around on my ankle whilst I worked the morning crossword puzzle in the newspaper.
I slowly got up and grabbed the flyswatter which I had cleverly left out for easy access. I saw the critter on the floor under my chair at the breakfast table. I bent over and DANG if my shoulder didn’t brush the other sections of the newspaper. They fell to the floor and I was just sure that the commotion would make the fly dart to safety.
But, no. It stayed still juuuuust long enough for me to get a good swat. One swat was all it took. It’s good to win one, once in awhile.
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THINGS I LEARNED from opening (and believing) email: “In the 1400’s a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have the Rule Of Thumb.”
Ladies, I am merely repeating the contents of the email so please don’t think less of me for repeating the outrageous thought.
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WORD GAMES. Another set of twins: Enter and Exit. So close to each other, yet so far away. They’re cousins to In and Out.
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HE SAID: “I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.” Thomas Paine, patriot
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SHE SAID: “If you let your fear of consequence prevent you from following your deepest instinct, your life will be safe, expedient and thin.” Katharine Butler Hathaway, writer
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SWEET DREAMS, Baby