Al Batt: Picking up pebbles

Published 7:56 pm Tuesday, August 22, 2023

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Echoes from the

Loafers’ Club Meeting

Do you have mosquitoes around here?

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Big ones. See that eagle over there?

I do.

Well, that’s no eagle.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. Everything was nearly copacetic except the treads of my sandals tend to pick up pebbles when I walk our driveway. They remain lodged in the treads until I get in the house. Then they seek freedom on the floor. Gary Hanson, who was our coach/banker/city clerk, had Little League players remove rocks from a rocky ballfield before practice.

I plucked a pebble from the treads of my sandal and chucked it outside. It will be back. It might beat me into the house.

The father of one of my classmates was the city constable in Hartland during my formative years. He was a nice man who had lost a leg to cancer. He later owned a resort in Hackensack. Because he had only one leg, it should have been easy for any mischievous kid to outrun him, and it was, but it didn’t matter. It was a small town. He recognized each miscreant and the boy’s yellow dog.

Bless you, whether

or not you sneeze

We ate at a customer appreciation event and talked about movies, mostly Barbenheimer, when one of the Loafer’s hands covered his mouth.

I sprang into action and said, “Bless you.”

I thought he was going to sneeze. He yawned instead. I told him he could keep the “Bless you.”

I’ve learned

No one wants to hear a story about something we know is true because a friend’s friend’s cousin’s neighbor’s employer’s dentist knew it was true.

We want life to be like it used to be even if it never had been.

When I’m in a grocery store, it’s common for someone to ask me to grab an item from the top shelf. I’m happy to oblige, thereby keeping an unfortunate from having a diet made up of foodstuffs from the lower shelves.

We all make mistakes. Some tattoos advertise that fact.

In the headlines

Brace yourself, orthodontists are going out on strike.

Local team, excellent at choosing opponents, finishes undefeated.

Round down your bill at Furry Murray’s Store to support your own cause.

The school board says everyone is giving 110% except for the math teachers.

Solve all your lawn problems. Call Pauly’s Paving today.

If you have sticky buns, please don’t sit at the bakery.

The Coincidence Café is where everyone  orders the same thing.

Senior Center offers a spin class where everyone stands up quickly and becomes dizzy.

A heel breaks on the Achilles statue in the park.

Nature notes

The Carolina grasshopper is a banded-winged grasshopper with black hindwings and could be mistaken for a mourning cloak butterfly when fluttering. It’s also called the Carolina locust or butterfly grasshopper and is commonly seen on the bare ground of school playgrounds, ballfields, dirt roads, gravel driveways and vacant lots where its coloration allows it to blend in. It crepitates, making a crackling sound as it flies.

The yard’s feeders were busy. In the movie “Field of Dreams,” Iowa farmer Ray (Kevin Costner) hears a mysterious voice in his cornfield saying, “If you build it, he will come.” Despite taunts of lunacy, Ray builds a baseball diamond on his land, supported by his wife, Annie (Amy Madigan). The ghosts of great players came from the field to play ball, led by Shoeless Joe Jackson. When it comes to birds, if you feed and water them, they will come.

Opossums gather twigs, leaves, grass and trash with their mouths and pass the items through their front legs and pack them into their curled tail for transport to their dens.

In September, Minnesota’s adult loons travel to their winter homes along the Atlantic coast from North Carolina to Florida, or on the Gulf of Mexico. The parents leave before the chicks can fly and the young loons follow about a month later. Mid-October marks the peak of migration. The bones of most birds are hollow and light, but loons have solid bones and the extra weight helps them dive as deep as 250 feet for food. They can stay underwater for five minutes. Because their bodies are heavy relative to their wing size, loons need a long runway to take flight from a lake. Minnesota supports the largest U.S. breeding population south of Alaska.

Meeting adjourned

“Treat everyone with politeness and kindness, not because they are nice, but because you are.”–Roy T. Bennett.