Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Leaf

Now the fun begins.

What fun? Why, for one thing, trying to remember to write 2011, instead of 2010, in all those places where I’m expected to indicate the current date.

And just when I had finally learned to write 2010 automatically ... well, semi-automatically, at least ... instead of 2009.

Oh, well, I guess it’s only fitting that I ended the year like I began it, clinging to the trailing edge of technology ... and most everything else, it seems ... by my slippery fingertips.

That aside, I am proud to announce that I kept all of my resolutions for this past year. 

Actually, I made just one ... but I stuck to it, through thick and thin.

And what was that? Why, I RESOLVED TO MAKE NO RESOLUTIONS. Having gotten through the year without breaking that one and only ... I hereby resolve to make the same resolution for the new year. I think I can keep it, too. 

This doesn’t mean that I’m casting aside all the rules. I’ll likely follow my lifelong pattern of observing the rules ... playing by the rules ... living by the rules ... even when they apply to such mundane things as driving ... and eating ... and simply doing the right thing, even if there’s no police officer ... or canine deputy ... keeping an eye on me. 

That said ... HAPPY NEW YEAR! (And please do ... if you’re not too involved with shaping your own resolutions ... take a look at today’s poem (below), entitled “A New Leaf”)


REMEMBER the previous installment of S&G? We needn’t have a show of hands on that ... after all, that was LAST YEAR ... right?

Never fear, Professor Squigglee just reminded me ... as though I were the absent-minded one ... that I’d mentioned an adventure by LOREE (Kansas), involving a bargain Christmas tree that she found ... but wasn’t allowed to buy. 

And I’d promised to share the details of that this week ... so here they are, essentially as related by Loree:

My brother-in-law took me shopping at the local Dollar General. I bought three or four small items, then told him I wanted to look at the Christmas trees.  

I knew exactly what I wanted ... a white one with fiber optic lights ALREADY on it!  Well, it turned out they had two six-foot white trees, with fiber optic lights!  Just what I wanted, so he reached up and got one, and put it in the shopping cart. At $35 I thought it was a good buy.

They only had one register open for checking out, so we had to work our way to the head of the line.  The cashier promptly scanned the bar code on the tree, then rang up the rest of my purchases.  

“Seven twenty-nine total, please,” she said.  

I came close to dropping my upper plate.  Finally I said, “I'd be happy to pay that for my purchases, but you've made a mistake.”

She said, “Oh yes ... the tree.”  

She carefully went over the register ticket, and then said, “Oh, my!  The tree has pennied out!”  

Well, that was the first time I had EVER heard that phrase.  So I said, “The tree is only a penny?  In that case, I'll buy both of them!”

She replied, “There's another one there?”

“Yes, there were two of them on the shelf, exactly alike, and both marked $35 each.”

“Pennied Out,” the clerk said, “means that I can't sell it, nor can YOU BUY IT!”

“But it is EXACTLY what I want,” I said.  “I'm willing to pay the $35 the tag said.”

At this point the manager came strutting up, reached and removed my tree from my cart, and said, “You can't buy it!”

I then ask her, “Why are THEY on the shelves, on display, and have a price tag?”

She rifled through a stack of papers ... then, in a tone that indicated she was talking either to a disappointed four-year-old, or an imbecile, she said, “Whomever opens the store first thing in the morning checks memos for 'pennied out' items, which means they must be sent back.  There was no memo on the trees, for some reason, BUT YOU CAN'T BUY IT!”

While all of this was going on, I had paid the clerk the $7.29 I owed for other items, so I responded, for the benefit of the gathering and enthralled line behind me, “Oh, to heck with it!  We'll just go to WAL-MART!”

And I'm so glad that neither the clerk, NOR the manager said “Merry Christmas” right then.

(Thanks, Loree ... I had never encountered that term either. Now I’ll be extra careful not even to try to buy something that’s been “pennied out” ... but how will I know, until it’s too late?)


TODAY’S POEM: As I indicated earlier, I don't do New Year's resolutions now ... haven't written them out for a number of years.

But I think each day ... whether I crawl slowly out of bed, hoping the floor will rise up gently to touch my feet ... or leap out ready to face whatever the day may hold for me ... each day offers this opportunity for that "new leaf" ... a new beginning of sorts.

I've encountered some detours along the way. But here I am, still plodding along, still being drawn along by what may lie ahead, around the next bend in the road.

So I guess I do think sometimes about that "new leaf," too.

Meanwhile, the poem:


How soothing the sound
of it, like the feel
of clean sheets, crisp
and cool to the touch,
hinting airy freshness
as we snuggle in.
How comforting it is
to lie here thinking
of this whole new year
fresh and inviting,
opening the prospect
that things might be
better, perhaps could
be, if we could just
approach each new day
with the same sense
of purpose we feel
at this moment.
© 1999
(originally published in Capper's)


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Oh, and if you’d like to see what’s up with my other ... DAILY blog ... here’s a link to it:

Thanks for paying a visit.


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


© 2011

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