Bad weather is muggy’s faithful companion

Published 5:54 am Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

My new drone is stuck at the top of a towering cottonwood tree.

That’s not the worst thing that’s ever happened to you.

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No, but it’s right up there.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor, named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me, such as: The temperatures here should never be allowed to hit 90 degrees. Bad weather is muggy’s faithful companion. Disagreeable weather didn’t keep my wife and me from attending a wake for Lorraine Evenson, who has become a lovely memory. My mother-in-law is named Lorraine. I love her. I fear we’re running out of Lorraines. A Lorraine is a wonderful woman who doesn’t want to use the cloth napkin supplied because it’s too nice. Every year, the Social Security Administration releases a list of the most popular baby names. Last year’s top 10 names in descending order for girls was: Emma, Olivia, Ava, Isabella, Sophia, Charlotte, Mia, Amelia, Harper and Evelyn. Names for boys were: Liam, Noah, William, James, Oliver, Benjamin, Elijah, Lucas, Mason and Logan. Lorraine is 1,021 on the list, but its popularity is rebounding. Allen is 540, but dropping. Pity.

Customer comments

Amos Vogel of Morgan said there are so many flying (and biting) insects this year that the swallows will be too fat to fly south.

Donna Swenson of Waseca said that when she was a girl and the school bus dropped her off at the end of her long driveway, she’d run to the first telephone pole and walk to the next, continuing this approach until she’d reached the house.

A man from Bloomington, Minnesota, introduced me to his dog by saying the canine didn’t like bacon, but could get many crunches out of a single piece of Cap’n Crunch cereal.

A fellow shopper in a grocery store noticed that his little girl was trying to take her dress off. “She’s just like her mother,” he said loudly, causing others to drop their clipped coupons.

A couple of guys who work at a Ford dealership told me that Ford is considering the production of a four-door Mustang. That thought made the Pinto roll over in its grave.

Preston Cook of Wabasha told me that when he moved to Minnesota, he was advised that he needed to wear a plaid shirt at least three days a week.

A traveling man

A speaking gig took me to Nashville. Chuck Berry sang of Johnny B. Goode, “He used to carry his guitar in a gunny sack.” I carried no guitar or gunny sack. I carried an orange Marmot backpack.

In local news

John Johnson would be the oldest man in town if that position were open.

Discount Pet Store sells slugs, earthworms and centipedes.

Man unable to tell police the color of his lost chameleon.

Feng Sushi opens in a harmonious location.

Nature notes

Spiderwort is a lovely flower. I called it cow slobbers when I was a boy because the flowers bloom early in the day, then wilt into a jelly-like substance. The striking flowers appear in small clusters, with new buds opening each day. Wort comes from the Anglo-Saxon wyrt meaning “herb” or “root,” and spider derives from either a belief that they’d cure spider bites or the spidery shape of its stamens.

Time passes too quickly. I want to see ants on the peonies again. Ants on the Peonies would be a great band name. I want to shuffle through the drifts of cottonwood seed once more. David George Haskell wrote this about cottonwoods, “Over its lifetime a parent tree releases 2+ billion seeds to the wind. On average, one seed makes it.“

There was no breeze. Its place had been taken by hungry mosquitoes. I picked raspberries. There was a good crop. Good raspberries, bad mosquitoes. That’s the rule. I ate mulberries I’d plucked along with the raspberries. The world goes quickly from shoots to fruits.

Blue jays scolded as other birds moved about silently, trying to make a living. Turkey vultures floated overhead as if they were fleeting dreams or disembodied souls. A ruby-throated hummingbird male moved slightly, enough to catch the light just right and cause an iridescence to play upon his throat.

A flower opened to the sun, perfect in its imperfection. I plucked a floret from the flowerhead of a red clover plant and tasted the sweetness of its nectar. I looked for four-leaf clovers. A fellow can never have too much good luck. I’ve seen research saying there is one four-leaf clover for every 5,000 three-leaf clovers.

Meeting adjourned

“Kindness is like snow — it beautifies everything it covers.”

— Kahlil Gibran