Becoming kind through the examples of others

Published 7:01 am Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

Boy, the sky is beautiful tonight.

It sure is. Is that Venus or Jupiter?

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I don’t know, I’m not from around here.

Driving by the Bruces

I have a wonderful neighbor, named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me, such as: I’d become a light wait. I sang “I like traffic lights” twice while waiting for the red light to perform its magic act and turn green. Monty Python would have been proud of me. “I like traffic lights, I like traffic lights, I like traffic lights, No matter where they’ve been. I like traffic lights, I like traffic lights, I like traffic lights, I like traffic lights, I like traffic lights, But only when they’re green.” The light relented and turned green so I could travel northward. I spoke in Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin. The parking lot had so many Subarus it was as if I were parking in a Subaru dealer’s lot. When I work in Haines, Alaska, there are many Subarus there, but there were so many in Ashland I thought I’d have to wait until everybody had left in order to find my car as it had many twins in that parking lot.

Same story, different chair

I was working in Manteo, North Carolina. I ate at restaurant in which the waitress seated me at a table where she insisted Andy Griffith had regularly sat.

“It fits you,” she said. “Andy told stories, too.”

I was over the moon. The only way it could have been any better would have been sitting in Barney Fife’s chair.

The next day, I ate at the same restaurant. A different waitress took me to a different table, telling me it was where Andy Griffith had always sat.

Getting in tune with no June swoon

Life has a margin of error. That’s where we all live.

I went through a big clinic. Such things grow no sweeter with repetition. I felt good, but I was in a dialed-down version of good health. Not feeling like myself might be an improvement. I was greeted by someone saying, “How do you find yourself this morning?”

I replied that I’d looked around until I’d turned up. After lab tests, I was relieved they hadn’t discontinued my blood type. I went through more tests. Then I went home and waited. The oncologist called and said the results had been promising. He said I was good for another four months. I’d hoped for better news. He quickly explained that I needed to return to the clinic in four months. If I were a dog, I’d have wagged my tail. He didn’t say this, but I took the results to mean that I should last a lifetime.

What I’ve found in my numerous visits to the clinic and hospitals is humor and kindness in others. There was no smiling like a goat eating thistles. It was a true scattering of sunshine. This dark cloud was mostly silver lining. We become strong and kind by the examples set by others.

And in local news

Avid gardener dies. There was a large turnip at his funeral.

There will be baseball tonight as rain has been called on account of game.

The Jones family declares bankruptcy after being unable to keep up with themselves.

Nature notes

“What bird has the most feathers?” Your question reminds me of another question. What side of a bird has the most feathers? The outside. In general, bigger birds have more feathers. We see tundra swans migrating through here and one of those swans has around 25,000 feathers. The champion would likely be the emperor penguin, the largest of the penguins, that carries around 80,000 feathers.

“When are baby chipmunks born?” Most mating for eastern chipmunks occurs in mid-March and April. There is a 31-day gestation period with typically two to five babies born in May or June. It is uncommon to have a second litter. The young chipmunks venture from their burrow when they are four to seven weeks old. I enjoy seeing chipmunks. They aren’t a great bother in the garden, but I have found that they have a taste for tomatoes, especially cherry tomatoes.

“I’m seeing beautiful purple flowers growing everywhere. What are they?” Dame’s rocket, an introduced species, flowers in shades of purple, pink or white on roadsides and wooded edges. This plant, with its heavenly aroma, is often mistaken for wild phlox. Dame’s rocket flowers have four petals while phlox has five. Dame’s rocket leaves are positioned alternately along its stems. Phlox has opposite leaves.

Meeting adjourned

Kindness matters.