Saturday, April 25, 2009

Anybody There? ... again


If I were to begin
sharing my poetry,
all these feverish
things I've written,
would anybody hear me?
Would anybody listen
during "open mike"?
Would bus passengers
get up and move out
of earshot? Would
strangers dart down
dark alleys? Would
cats cross the street,
dogs whine, beg off?
Would - I say, would
you please wake up?

(originally published in PKA's Advocate)


REGULAR VISITORS to S&G ... and I believe there are a few of those left ... stubborn, unflinching, regular visitors ... will notice that this week's installment is coming out rather topsy-turvy.

That is, I usually post a bunch of my own meanderings ... sandwich in some sensible comments by faithful readers ... and THEN conclude with a poem.

This time, though, there is a great possiblity that the poem may be all there is .. or almost all there is ... so I'm starting with that.


What happened last week? Well, by way of explaining that, I fall back on something I learned very early in my short and unspectacular military career: "No excuse, SIR ... or MA'AM" ... as the case may be.


It's all a blur ... or mostly a blur. I do remember missing my "deadline" ... wavering ... thinking I should post SOMETHING ... maybe I shouldn't ... maybe I should ... I don't know ... I guess I just vacillated too long this time ... and time ran out. Suddenly it was THIS WEEK ... and I had lost an opportunity.


One of the highlights, if you want to call it that, was a MAD DASH to the airport.

Normally ... in keeping with my stated philosophy of having NO NEED TO SPEED ... I start early ... arrive at least on time ... sometimes early.

But this time circimstances intervened ... maybe I nodded off after lunch ... maybe I looked at my watch wrong. What ever it was, I found myself with no minutes to spare on the way to the airport.

The Little Red Car ... always eager to pop a wheelie and set off on a new adventure ... was waiting in the driveway.

Oh, did I have a surprise for Little Red!

I never take the Interstate. Never! I always take the scenic route ... and even that has some moments of excitement.

But I had no choice.

I could tell that Little Red was a little nervous when we started out ... sensing, I suppose, that I had made some horrible mistake ... for here we were, ON THE INTERSTATE ... rubbing elbows with THE BIG GUYS.

But on we went ... zooming and swooping ... almost squealing the tires on a couple of occasions. Somehow I managed to avoid letting out a scream ... a couple of times ... maybe more (actually, I lost count).

Little Red, I must say, held up quite well ... being very patient with me as I tried to decipher which lane I should dive into ... which ramp would take us TO, rather than AWAY FROM our intended destination ... just how close that semi was to my rear bumper ... whether I should go under ... or around ... the one in front.

All this ... and more ... while I tried to maintain a safe ... and somewhat legal ... flying speed.

End result? We arrived ... and safely deposited our passenger ... with seconds to spare.


And other than that? Needless to say, I took the scenic route home ... noting that Little Red seemed much calmer now ... and that I was even beginning to loosen my grip on the steering wheel.

The next day, though, I noticed that both my hands were sore ... as though I had been chopping weeds all day with a dull hoe ... or had been driving on the Interstate for 29 minutes and 15 seconds, give or take a few.


So here we are ... or here I am, at least (I have a feeling that I may have lost the entire S&G audience) ... on a Friday night ... as is (often, though not always) the case ... I've meandered (that's how you know it's really me ... and not some silly robot) ... I've included a poem (repeating myself in the process) ... I've failed to fully explain last week's absence (that's surely another measure of authentication) ...

And I'm hoping I get one more chance ... please, please ... PLEASE.

Meanwhile ...


UNTIL NEXT TIME ... take care ... see ya!

© 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ice Storm

(Loree's photo of some ... just some ... of the ice storm damage at her place)

Now where was I?

I seem to be asking myself that more and more these days. I’d swear that Professor Squigglee and I are becoming more alike in that respect ... so much so that some people have trouble telling us apart.

That’s probably because we’re never seen in the same place at the same time ... yes, I’m sure that’s what has other people a bit confused.

But enough of that. Let’s just say that ... what with phone line problems ... computer problems ... and problems I can’t even recall the details of without prompting ... I’ve been in a bit of a fog recently.

Sorry about that.


I do sorta recall putting together a poor excuse of an installment of S&G ... a week or so ago ... if memory serves ... and it’s either around here some place ... or maybe I posted it.


One thing I’m sure of ... I got an e-mail from LOREE (Kansas), in which she mentioned the cleanup at her place after a devastating ice storm that swept across. But let’s let her tell about that:

"Speaking of being tired, the crew showed up at 1:30 yesterday (five of them), to saw, drag, rake and load (three two-ton truck loads) of leftovers from the Ice Storm Party.

"I even did some of the raking to try and help them out a bit ... and, worst of all, I missed my siesta! By the time they left at almost five o’clock, I could barely drag myself to the barn for the evening feeding and egg gathering.

"At least when I look out my windows now, there are no mountains of tree limbs as the only thing to see out there.

"Anyway, I know all about that ‘tired’ feeling ... just that sometimes when I wonder and think about what I’ve done to make me feel that way, I can’t even think of what has caused it. I hate admitting that old age might have some bearing on it, so I console myself with saying, ‘I’m just tired of being tired, and that is what is wearing me out!"


TODAY’S QUOTE: "Over the years, I’ve become rather fond of dawdling. In fact, I’ve become so good at it that I’m thinking about taking it up professionally." - Professor Squigglee


AN EARLIER e-mail from LOREE (Kansas) began in the usual manner ... Hi, Bob ... but quickly took a very serious turn: "My county was declared a disaster area from the big ice storm we got. Would rather have had the 15-plus inches of snow they were predicting, but that didn’t happen."

Included was a front yard photo she had taken in the aftermath ... just a sample of what she was faced with (and, if I’ve hit the right buttons at the right time, we’re sharing that photo with you today).

She also shared a poem she had written about the experience:


With just little warning,
Storm clouds were forming,
Gathering for a trek they would take ...
All those in their path
Would feel the storm's wrath,
So real, and not at all fake.

As it organized,
Grew enormous in size,
The warnings went out in advance ...
So all could prepare,
Lay in a stock of fare,
Leave nothing undone, left to chance.

With winds that were driven,
Could not be forgiven,
Remembered for years yet to come ...
What the storm left behind
Would boggle the mind
Before this ice storm was done.

I'm left to survey
Complete disarray,
Deal with the storm's calling card ...
My beautiful trees
Brought near to their knees,
The damage that covers my yard.

Still at long last
The storm has roared past,
Left blue skies and brightest sunshine. ..
In days it will seem
Like one more bad dream,
A memory born in its time.
© 2009 Loree (Mason) O’Neil


BOOK NOOK - Word from KELLY (Colorado): "I’m starting Mark Twain's, Roughing It. I always liked Jonathan Swift, Mark Twain and Voltaire. Can you imagine a dinner party with those three at the table? What drew me to read Roughing It was a line on the back cover: ‘... Roughing It must also be read as Twain's ... rejection of the mythic, romanticized image of the West, and his autopsy of the American dream.’ Can you imagine what Twain would be writing today!?"

She also adds: I hope you and your family are having a nice weekend. Please give Little Red Car a friendly nod for me! (Oh, we are, thank you very much! ... and I did pass along that nod to Little Red ... and I could’ve sworn that Little Red nodded back, too)


COMMENT? Feel free ... below, if you like.
Or if you prefer e-mail, that's fine, too ... especially for more detailed observations, to

and it helps if you put "Squiggles" or "S&G" ... something like that ... in the subject line (just remember, no religion or politics ... please!)


UNTIL NEXT WEEK (I hope) ... (I’m keeping my fingers crossed now) ... take care ... see ya!

© 2009

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Week That Was

This has not been a good week.

Oh, there were moments. There are always moments in the worst of times, it seems, which offer a glimmer of light and encouragement.

For example, we were treated to a visit by our grandson ... our one and only ... and his parents ... and others in the family. Their visiting with us made last weekend not just tolerable, but enjoyable.

But there were other "moments" ... days ... long days, in fact ... when things weren’t going so well.
I’ll give you the short version.

We had phone and computer problems. Day after day our phone line had so much noise on it we weren’t sure we even had a dial tone ... and the computer? ... well, it permitted us a few minutes ... here and there ... to have contact with the outside world.

And that was it.

Having grown up without the benefits of a telephone in the home ... and certainly without even dreaming of such a thing as a computer ... I had no idea they could get such a compelling grip on me. How very dependent on both I have become.

Thank goodness I had Phyllis here to calm me down ... to run interference with those who controlled the destinies of both the phone line and the computer ... to reassure me that things would turn out OK ... and, with her help, I survived.

I exaggerate when I speak of "surviving," of course, but there were times when that was what it felt like ... especially when the problem was finally fixed and phone and computer service were both restored (knock on wood).

So here we are ... Friday night, when I usually get in gear to pull S&G together ... and when that works, it’s largely thanks to those who have shared ideas and accounts of their own adventures ... but this time ... well, this time I’m feeling like I’ve been through the wringer.

I hope you will forgive me if I play a modified version of hooky ... (and please don’t let Professor Squigglee know) ... but I’m giving in to my primary feeling right now ... and that is simply to forget about the S&G "deadline" this time ...

In fact ... please don’t worry about me ... I’m OK ... mainly just tired ... a little frustrated, yes ... but mostly just tired.
I think I’ll just forget about everything for the whole weekend ... and then ... Monday or Tuesday, maybe ... I hope I’ll feel more like picking up the pieces and going on ... with an entry for "Chosen Words" and the beginnings of prep for an installment of S&G for next weekend.

Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by ... and many, many thanks for your patience and understanding.
Take care. See ya (I hope).