Archived Story

Wobbly fan adds reason to look up in prayer

Published 11:05am Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

“I like mowing the lawn. It gives me a chance to think.”

“What do you think about?”

“About not mowing the lawn.”

I’ve learned

1. A garden can be a melondrama.

2. That most sweatpants never do.

3. That global warming is caused by heated arguments about what causes global warming.

Employee of the month

I was on the road far from home. I needed a couple of things. Next to the hotel I was staying in was a large box store. Because it was just a few steps away, I decided to patronize it rather than driving elsewhere. I found the items after some searching and hiking. There were countless checkout lanes, but most were not operating. The “10 items or less” express lane that should have been the “10 items or fewer lane” express lane was crowded with shoppers. I decided to use the self-checkout lane. I pulled it off without a hitch even though I’d had no formal training as a cashier. I was so good at it that I hope to get the employee of the month award and a coveted parking place. Maybe on my next visit, the store will allow me to stock some shelves.

Ask a dumb question

I was a teenager repairing a fence on an incredibly hot and humid day. I was working like a man possessed on a farm that seemed far from everywhere.

A car pulled into the drive and the driver noticed me toiling. He parked, got out of his car, and walked towards me. He was all slicked up, so I marked him a salesman.

“Is your father home?” he asked.

I looked up from the barbed wire that had sliced my arm and said, “Do you think I’d be working this hard if he weren’t?”

Seeing a ceiling fan

I sat in a lovely church listening to the sermon. I noticed a little boy near me looking up. I looked up. A man has to look up when someone else looks up. It’s a law, like gravity. I saw what the boy was looking at. It was a ceiling fan. A wobbly ceiling fan. An extremely wobbly ceiling fan. I was sure it was safe, but not completely sure. It was a serious wobble. I looked at the pastor and tried to listen hard to his words. He said that a person never knows when his or her time is up.

When he said that, I looked up. I’m sure that the minister thought I was offering a prayer. I might have been, but it was to a wobbly ceiling fan.

Signs of spring

1. Turkey vultures return. They have a rocky flight with wings held in a dihedral (a semi-V) shape.

2. Robins? Many robins winter here. Those that migrate and return may need three snows on their tails before it’s truly spring.

3. Mosquitoes. We need a recipe for deep-fried mosquitoes on a stick.

4. UPS drivers wearing shorts.

5. My neighbor Crandall returns my snow blower and borrows my lawn mower.

Why women outlive men

I wrote that more men than women are hit by lightning. A friend from Michigan named Bob Hess asked why that was. When tornadoes threaten, my wife grabs blankets, pillows, enough food for three months, and a combination radio/flashlight that is cranked before huddling in that secret corner of the basement that is supposed to be the safest. Where am I while she hunkers in a spot that eliminates the negative and accentuates the positive? I’m walking to the end of our drive to try to see the tornado. There is an old joke that says no woman will ever have, “Hey, guys, watch this,” as a tombstone epitaph. While women are avoiding what might get them, men are trying to see what is going to get them.

Winter in the rearview

Winter was mild — a phantom. A winter of our content. Winter is never perfect. It doesn’t have to be. A mild winter maintains a presence in our minds. “We’ll pay for that,” is a common refrain. Winter torments us even when it’s benign.

Meeting adjourned

Kindness is contagious.


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