Breakfast can put you on house arrest

Published 8:38 am Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Echoes From the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I can’t go to the café with you today. I’m under house arrest.


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Because I had oatmeal, a bran muffin and four cups of coffee for breakfast.

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: Spit out your toenails before seeing a dentist. Every week, I like to go to a window and smile for a satellite photo. I have seasonal allergies. I’m allergic to shoveling snow.

The cafe chronicles

It was a fine cafe. Every table was near a waitress.

“How would you like your eggs?” asked a waitress. “Just in case they turn out that way.”

“Over easy. And don’t forget the toast,” the diner replied. “It’s not breakfast without toast.”

The waitress smiled a familiar smile and said, “He’s lack-toast intolerant.”

A seasonal salute from a rickety stage

The elementary school was ringed by minivans on a cold winter day.

I recalled my father providing a winter survival kit for my usually unreliable car and me. Blanket, hat (we didn’t like wearing hats in those days), gloves, extra coat, jumper cables, shovel, scarf, matches, bags of oyster shell for weight and traction, a chain for towing and a tool kit.

A friend told me that it was the coldest weather he’d seen since he got his new eyeglasses. I wore a rabbit fur hat. I knew it was rabbit because it snapped at the carrots I walked by in the supermarket.

I had a choice — shovel snow or build snowmen. Snowmen fall from heaven unassembled. Friends tell me that a new year offers a new start on old habits and hoped that all my troubles last as long as my New Year’s resolutions.

In winters past, I’d hear these words often, “Uffda, feeda, ishda.” It was a sliding scale of Norwegian disgust going from bad to worst. Uffda was carrying 10 gallons of manure in a 5-gallon bucket. You can’t help but slop. Uffda is when you smell it. Feeda is when you see it. Ishda is when you step in it.

Student driving for deer

I met a student driver car. It wasn’t equipped with training wheels because some of the best drivers on the road are behind the wheels of those cars. The students are trying to do everything right. I wish deer took classes like new drivers do. What classes? One that teaches deer to look both ways before crossing a road. I have friends who are or have been driving instructors. I came across one after a student had flipped the car over onto its roof. My friend was being taken by a stretcher to an ambulance. He was wearing one of those cervical collars that looks like an Elizabethan collar that dogs wear as a protective medical device. He was uninjured other than bruises. No deer were involved.

Soup and a funeral

I like church soup and pie suppers. Good fellowship and good food.

One church stopped serving alphabet soup. They worried that it fostered poor spelling. I don’t like chicken noodle soup as much as I once did because it’s what I ate when I was sick as a boy. And the noodles are chicken heads. I slurped two howls of hobo soup. Some people call it hobo stew. Hobo soup is 1/2 hamburger, 1/2 potatoes, 1/2 carrots and 1/2 peas. It came in a really big bowl.

Each death diminishes me. There is one less person who remembers what I remember. Tom Donovan was a fine man. A local icon. His nephew and my buddy, John Mickelson of California, told me that a family member was with Tom the night before he died when Tom awoke and said, “This ain’t Heaven. This is still Hartland.” He was ready to go.

It’s difficult to put a handle on a dime

Duane Miller of Hartland learned that if you work hard for many years, you still wouldn’t have the correct change to show for it.

My pockets contain little more than blue jean lint. Duane doesn’t like carrying too many coins in his trouser pockets.

Duane solved this problem. He carries four quarters, two dimes, a nickel and four pennies. He finds that covers most of his correct change concerns.

Nature notes

According to the DNR, the top 10 most common names for a Minnesota lake are in descending order are: Mud, Long, Rice, Bass, Round, Horseshoe, Twin, Island, Johnson and Spring.

Meeting adjourned

Kind words do not weigh heavily upon a conscience.