Past the gateway of hotdishes

Published 7:27 am Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

Some idiot told me that I needed eyeglasses.

Who told you that?

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I couldn’t see who it was.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his driveway, thoughts occur to me, such as: The weather here can be daunting. It can hurl me into places I don’t want to be, right into life’s briar patches. When this happens, I grab onto the beauty of nature and hang on for dear life. The traveling robins returned. The migrants are more skittish and noisy than any robins that might have overwintered. It’s dangerous to be a robin hereabouts. Since our local cafe closed, we’re liable to eat anything. I spoke at the public library in Bagley, Minnesota. The next morning, I visited the welcoming abode of a good friend, Kelly Larson. She was kind enough to fix me breakfast. Good company, good grub. Thanks to her kind ways, I was able to fling a fang into some side pork. It was powerful good.

The cafe chronicles

As I waited for my order of tater tot hotdish, the gateway hotdish, I heard this conversation between server and diner.

“We have split pea soup and the soup of the day.”

“What’s the soup of the day?”

“Split pea soup.”

Time marches on, but the snow refuses to leave

My birthday is in March. It’s a blizzard birthday. The state high school basketball tournament used to attract snowstorms. March isn’t our snowiest month. Where I live, it’s December. January is the snowiest in the Twin Cities, with December second.

An Alaskan aurora

It was early in a morning that could have been best described as moist. Snow, rain and everything in between fell.

In a hotel’s breakfast nook in Juneau, I overheard a hotel employee ask his coworker for a $20 loan.

“I can’t help you. I have a girlfriend now. I’m broke,” the coworker replied.

“Broke, huh? Join the club,” said the first man. “Could I bum a cigarette?”

The man got a smoke. He was a closer.

Ballistic doughnuts

A neighbor vacationed in Hawaii this winter. He stood in a long line in a store, waiting to buy doughnuts. He likes doughnuts. While he was in that queue, cellphone users received a message saying: “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”

Everyone left. I wonder where they went? Where would you go? Everyone left except my neighbor. He moved to the front of the line and purchased his doughnuts. If the world had ended, he was ready.

He called his parents here in Minnesota. He called friends and relatives who were here and there.

Someone at the Emergency Management Agency precipitated the false alert by pushing the wrong button. The cellphone message was corrected by email 18 minutes later, but there was no follow-up mobile text until 38 minutes had passed.

That was just enough time to eat a couple of doughnuts.

From the mailbag

This from Amos Vogel of Morgan, “After this most recent storm, I was coming back from the Twin Cities headed south on 169 when I found myself illegally parked in the southbound ditch facing the direction from which I just came. Apparently, and unbeknownst to me, I found the favorite parking spot. Not even two minutes had gone by when someone else wanted the same spot.”

Alima Fairchild of Rushford wrote, “Mothers of toddlers (and cats) often fix the toilet paper roll so it comes out the bottom so the kiddies/kitties can’t unroll it by pawing. People with shoulder problems should not use the roller method at all, but set the roll on something, the counter or a stand.”

Nature notes

“Is there really such a thing as a snow flea?” On a sunny winter day, I looked where the snow had melted slightly around the base of a tree in our yard. I saw what appeared to be spilled pepper on the top of the snow. The pepper was moving. Snow fleas remain active in the winter and feed upon fungal spores and algae. The snow flea isn’t a flea, it’s a springtail. Springtails get their name because they use their tails to jump.

“How can I tell a trumpeter swan from a tundra swan by their calls?” Trumpeter swan calls are mainly a deep honk, often compared to a French horn, taxi horn or tin trumpet. Tundra swan calls are a varied, high-pitched bugling. Their quavering calls remind me of the sounds of snow geese.

Meeting adjourned

“Don’t wait for people to be friendly. Show them how.”—Henry James