Archived Story

Time to recover from summer, wait for winter

Published 10:56am Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

“I’ve been wearing some of those magnetic bracelets that are supposed to prevent arthritis.”

“Do they work?”

“I don’t know. I just freed myself from the refrigerator door.”


Driving by the Bruces

I have two wonderful neighbors — both named Bruce — who live across the road from each other. Whenever I pass their driveways, thoughts occur to me, such as: always give 100 percent unless you’re giving blood.


I’ve learned

1. Statistics prove that there are too many statistics.

2. A honeybee stings only once, but that’s enough.

3. Each day is unrepeatable.


The news from Hartland

1. City loses largest industry when 400-pound Fuller Brush man retires.

2. Hilltop House of Hotdish offers valley parking. The owner advises, “Yeah, there’s lots of room in the valley. Park there.”

3. Elvis impersonation contest is judged on unoriginality.

4. Senior Olympian sets record for shot put roll.



1. How do you get a Minniowawisdakotan out of a swimming pool? You say, “OK, everyone out of the pool.”

2. How many Minniowawisdakotans does it take to change a lightbulb? We don’t change lightbulbs. We accept them the way we are.

3. If you are chased down the street by a Minniowawisdakotan waitress, don’t panic. You overpaid and she’s returning our change.

4. You are a Minniowawisdakotan if you get a hangnail and are put on a prayer list.


It shows the dirt

Lonnie Kormann, the local electrician, was the first to notice it. It being the new stickers on rural mail carrier Brad Spooner’s license plates. Lonnie noticed the new stickers because they were the only clean spots on Brad’s car. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds on both hard surface and gravel roads, but to an automobile, being a rural carrier’s vehicle is a dirty job.


Life in the past lane

My neighbor said that he hurt in places, but he was aging gratefully. He told me about the year the outhouse moved indoors. Until that time, there had been no running in the house and that included water.

I responded that I believed he’d had a deprived childhood, but that when I was a boy, we ate smoars as a special treat. Melted marshmallows and chocolate sandwiched between boat oars.



I’m a fall guy.

I love it when the trees resting upon the last hill of summer have been fired with colorful leaves and the weather becomes variable but bearable.

If you’re confused about when to set your clocks back or ahead, just remember this simple rule, “You gain an hour every fall and you lose an hour every time you watch an episode of Desperate Housewives. Fall is when we try to remember where we put the Christmas decorations. It’s a time we spend recovering from summer and preparing for winter. Cascading leaves hit the ground with a whisper. Fall is when it smells like pumpkins, leaves turn yellow, goldfinches turn green, and birds of passage move through.


Customer comments

Pat Coffie of Waverly told me that there is no pressure quite like that felt by a young bride marrying the son of a home ec teacher.

Ric McArthur of Ontario writes, “There is a sign at the local sewage lagoon that says ‘Trespassing by Permit only.’”


Nature notes

Skunks, raccoons, and squirrels make divots in lawns. Squirrels cache or retrieve buried corn and acorns. Skunks dig holes in search of grubs. Skunks are systematic, moving from spot to spot each night. Raccoons shred or roll the grass in search of grubs. Skunks do a neater job.

“Do Bounce fabric softener sheets repel mosquitoes, wasps, and ants?” Only if you swat them with the box the sheets come in. University studies have shown that they might work in repelling fungal gnats.

When hummingbirds sleep at night, they go into a hibernation-like state called torpor. A hummingbird consumes 50 times as much energy when it is awake (its wings beat 53 times per second) as it does when torpid. A hummingbird’s heart rate can drop from 500 to as few as 50 beats per minute and its body temperature lowers to 70 degrees from its normal 105°F. When hummingbirds go into torpor, they appear to be dead and have been found hanging upside-down. When a bird perches, it bends its legs. This tightens flexor tendons running down a bird’s leg and causes the toes to curl, thereby clinching firmly to the perch and holding a bird in place. It takes up to an hour for a hummingbird to recover fully from torpor.


Meeting adjourned

A kind word pushes and pulls.

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