YES, I AM STILL HERE peeking out my window on Main Street, and I am sincerely hopeful you weren’t among the dozen or so drivers who passed in front of the newspaper office early on a recent weekday. You might have seen what appeared to be me hopping frantically at the open door of my buggy.
It just looked like I was hopping.
See, except for Sundays and funerals I wear shorts most days between early April and end of October.
This particular day I was still in shorts.
Being short and plump I sometimes have trouble getting out of the buggy. It’s a lot easier getting INTO than OUT OF, if you know what I mean.
On the side of the driver’s seat there is a helpful lever that controls the ‘recline’ of the seat. The lever is probably about six inches long.
In recent years I have had to learn to ‘roll’ out of the driver’s seat and slide earthward to put my feet safely on the ground. I told you it was hard getting out of the buggy.
But sometimes something embarassing happens. Really really embarassing.
The leg of the shorts somehow catches the ‘recline’ lever and I am hanging — not in and not out — of the buggy.
Worse, I cannot get my shorts aloose from the lever. My feet don’t touch the ground because I am hooked, therefore I cannot get up on tippytoes high enough so that the leg of the shorts can get free.
If I manage to get control of my body I sometimes can get my feet on the runningboard and lift myself up and out of the dilemma.
But, most of the time I just hang there praying I can somehow get free before half of Howard County drives past. With cell phones.
It can even get worse if I happen to have prematurely locked the door. The horn starts beeping with the keyfob juuuust out of reach.
There’s nothing a Good Samaritan passerby can do to help, unless he (or, gulp, she) can help lift me up and off of the stoopid lever.
“No sir you cannot tear out the lever,” the folks at York Gary told me before breaking into gales of laughter. They actually asked if I would call the service department next time I get stuck. “We want to get a picture for the General Motors magazine.”
I am so glad that I live in a small town. In a bigger place, some offended road rage motorist would simply shoot at the fat guy bobbing up and down and yelling for help beside his vehicle.
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ANIMAL CRACKERS. Been meaning to do a certain bluebird cleaning chore for several weeks.
My bluebird memory was sparked Saturday morning at dawn while I was waddling around the neighborhood. A bird flew in front of me. It was not very light yet, but I swear it looked like a bluebird.
It landed on a nearby street sign. Bluebirds are quite skittish but before it could fly away to safety I got a pretty good look at it.
I swear it was a bluebird. Here in first cold weekend of October?
But the sighting reminded me that I needed to clean out the bluebird box. One of my bluebird expert friends had suggested that I get rid of the old nests and make clean room for new arrivals.
I took the box down from the side of the house, and went into a side yard to dump the contents.
Several little blue eggs tumbled out.
Followed by a perfectly woven nest. And another nest. And another.
I had to use a long screwdriver to rake the last nests out.
So, there were at least three — maybe four — nests built one atop of another. The bottom one had more-or-less disintegrated, so there may have actually been two nests combined.
I left the nests on the lawn. I’ll let the lawn guy shred them when he comes next time.
Hopefully next spring there will be a new bluebird couple swooping in with pieces of dead grass for fresh new nest.
I’ll bow to my bluebird-knowledgeable friends about whether I could have seen one, Saturday.
I don’t see the Mississippi kites anymore.
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THINGS I LEARNED by opening email: As I watch this generation try and rewrite our history, I’m sure of one thing: it will be misspelled and have no punctuation.
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WORD GAMES. The twins: Up and Coming. There’s hope, even for Razorback football.
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HE SAID: “You should never be defined by what you do, by the things you have; you’ve got to define yourself by who you are and who you impact and how you impact people. And that’s the thing I try to get across to my players.” Tony Dungy, NFL coach
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SHE SAID: “Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” Ann Landers, newspaper ‘advice’ columnist
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SWEET DREAMS, Baby