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Mine Creek Revelations: On Thin Ice

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YES, I AM STILL HERE peeking out my window on Main Street and the latest and stoopidist in a long list of things I learned the hard way is that you cannot kick your way through a steel door like the cops do with wooden doors on television.

Steel doors do not crash open. They will not budge no matter hard they’re kicked.

This priceless bit of learning experience came to me on the coldest day of the year.

I will admit that I should have already done something about that blasted doorknob on the carport door. As the weather got colder the door got harder and harder to open. But lazy me put off doing anything.

When I went outside my intention was to step out just for a moment. I wanted to check the weather.

I was in my sockfeet and boxer underpants and a thin Peach Blossom Festival t-shirt. Perfect attire if I had wisely stayed inside on this horrible day munching healthful low-cal treats and watching tv.

But nooooo. I just HAAAAAD to go out and check to see if Alexa was exaggerating about the cold and the ice.

I quickly agreed with Alexa’s report, and turned to go back inside where it was warm and I could watch another 15-minute reverse home mortgage commercial on tv.

The doorknob wouldn’t turn left or right. I tried several times.

For one thing, it was getting light and I really really really didn’t want the neighbors to see me in sockfeet, boxer shorts and a thin t-shirt. I was fearful of freezing to death.

Bright idea! I would go through the carport gate to the patio, and then waltz across the patio to the door into my bathroom which I had cleverly left unlocked.

Once I got on the patio the sockfeet went into shock because they were slipping on solid ice. Soon I was literally skating toward that bathroom door. I could almost hear the bathroom heater fan.

The first time my sockfeet slipped out from under me I landed atop the nearby firepit which I hadn’t put away. Lucky for me, I landed on the wire screen which flexed and bounced me upright again.

Within nano-seconds the sockfeet slipped out again, but I was able to grab aholt of a wooden post which — I swear — was probably put there by the Grace of God 30 years ago. It serves no other purpose.

It is amazing how much weight windchimes can hold.

I was still 20 feet away from that bathroom door. There were three large windchimes hanging from the patio eaves, and I managed to swing on them like Tarzan to the shelter of that bathroom door.

When I stopped sliding I let out a triumphant Tarzan yell.

Thankfully none of the neighbors heard me. They were all snug inside watching Joe Namath promoting a medicare supplement program.

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THINGS I LEARNED by opening an email: “Did you know muffins spelled backwards is what you do when you take them out of the oven?”

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MAKE A NOTE: The annual Vietnam Veterans Chili Cook-off in Texarkana will be Friday, Feb. 16, at the Truman Arnold Center, Texarkana College, as usual. It’s from 11-1. I’ve never participated in the judging but I ALWAYS go back for a second helping. Tickets are $8 and proceeds go to keeping a reliable van for taking vets to Veterans hospitals and clinics.

Non-veterans are invited to chow down, also.

I no longer feel threatened when I go to this event even though it is on the Texarkana College campus. I was a student  in 1961-62. That was a long time ago and the campus cops are probably no longer looking for me. In fact, those cops are most likely already deceased.

In fact, it was a class on this very campus that sent me on my way to an illustrious four years in the U.S. Navy. In those days, the college sent a student’s grades home to mom and dad, as opposed to today when the student can opt to keep them secret until mom and dad no longer send money.

I took a chemistry class and — I sigh in shame as I tell you this — I made an F. That in itself wasn’t enough to make me enlist.

BUT the teacher was a childhood friend of my father.

And I knew the grades were in the mail. Things were about to get hot at home.

The Navy recruiter was in the courthouse here on Tuesdays. I made it to his office before the mail arrived at 303 College St.

Whew! Anchors Aweigh!

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WORD GAMES. The Speeding sisters: License and Registration. Yes, officer. Don’t tell Daddy!

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HE SAID: “God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.” Dag Hammarskjold, U.N. Secretary-General

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SHE SAID: “I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” Dame Agatha Christie, crime novelist

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SWEET DREAMS, Baby