Taking a deep breath

This past Tuesday evening, while perusing Apple News on my iPad, I stumbled upon a hyperventilating announcer ranting about President Trump and his dealings with CNN interviewer, Jim Acosta. I listened to about ten words and moved on to what seemed to be a more interesting headline only to be informed that since Melania Trump had harsh words for a certain staffer in the White House—omigosh, connect the dots—President Trump must be going to fire Mr. Kelly! (Chief of Staff)

And yada yada yada…

Distraught by all the negativity, I put my iPad down and turned on the TV to see if I might find a less wearisome distraction on YouTube or something.

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Elder musings

A wise, old owl

I recently read an article in the local newspaper regarding a retired, 75-year-old man who had become so deeply in debt that he felt he had no alternative but to rob a bank. He wasn’t very good at it and was caught almost immediately. The article went on to report that this “elderly man” would be charged with a felony. What caught my eye there was the characterization of this guy as “elderly”. So, apparently, I have at most only three more years until I am considered to be elderly, at least in the eyes of the local press corps.

Regardless of how one might characterize a person of my vintage, it is often assumed that us graybeards must be wise as well as old, right? Well, I can assure you that is not always the case. But given the benefit of the doubt, if I am so old and, ergo, sage, then, just what, exactly, have I learned over all these years? Hmmm. Well, here are a few aphorisms I can share with you, in no particular order.

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My music, your music and everybody else’s music

One summer a couple of years ago I travelled in my Jeep from Jacksonville to Memphis to meet up with my sister and her husband who, in turn, had driven south from Michigan to join me for a little mini-vacation. Following a few pleasant days in that famed city, I set out on the first leg of my return trip. It was a beautiful Sunday morning and with all that drive-time coming up I decided to see what I might find on the radio. I was curious to hear what people were listening to nowadays.

As I clicked through the static and sermons I found myself looking for something akin to the old Casey Kasem American Top Forty that we listened to back in the seventies, or maybe something like Dick Biondi’s countdown on WLS Chicago before that. What I stumbled upon was John Tesh hosting his Intelligence for Your Life program, which, among other things, included the airing of some of the day’s most popular singles. That should work, I figured.

I listened to Tesh’s song list for an hour or so only to find that much of the music simply did not appeal to me at all. Why is that, I wondered?

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Got junk in your drawers?

My junk drawer

For those of you who are new to my ruminations my maternal grandparents lived in an old, two-story farmhouse out in the countryside of southwestern Michigan. And the door that served as its primary entry opened directly into the kitchen.

The kitchen was the central gathering place in the old house, with most activities focused on or around the table located in the center of the room.  Repairs to radios and other household devices were typically done there (one could actually repair a radio back in those days) as were myriad other tasks requiring a flat surface and the aid of kibitzers, including the preparation of the family’s federal income tax return, as I recall. In earlier days one would have found a deep sink in there with a cast-iron hand pump that piped water in from a cistern outside. But by the time I was a teenager the room had been fully modernized with electric appliances.

In the far corner of that room, though, one would have also found a tall, white, built-in cabinet with enclosed shelving below for pots and pans and glassed-in shelving above for dishes and knickknacks. And at waist height (which was about nose-height to me when I first discovered it), was a junk drawer.

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