Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Letters, October 30 edition

Dear Vermont Country Store,
Once upon a time, I loved my red rubber boots with the spooly button.  (Momma called them, 'rubbers.') 

Sadly, I presumed they went the way of the dinosaur.
...Until I found this on your Facebook page!
Are they available in 8-1/2B?

Dear Major Insurance Company,

Thank you for weighing in on the necessity of DH's scan.  
Unlike his oncologist, you decided that it wasn't necessary.  

I note you're a physician yourself ... yes, your signature line contains some pretty impressive credentials.  

But! Like one comedian posed, "Ever wonder where those medical students who graduate in the the bottom half of their class wind up?" 

Just my opinion, but I'm guessing they go to work for major insurance companies.   

Dear hubby,  

Normally, I'm so concerned annoyed by your not wearing your seat-belt, not using your turn signals ...
that I forget to acknowledge your sweet side. 

Yes, you know how I desperately dislike filling my own gas tank.

(... so much so, I'm inclined to put it off until the last-possible minute.)   

Having overheard warnings of an impending storm  -- knowing I'd be in a position to have to fill up before heading home -- you called, offering to come over (31 miles one way!) and take my car to the station before the storm hit.

Of course I didn't say 'yes', but your sentiments felt pretty darn nice!

Dear Mr. God,

I never considered you posting on Facebook ... 
(Then again, why not?) 
I think this looks like something you'd like us all to keep in mind.

Halloween hugs from Phoenix!


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Look Through any Window

Have you ever struggled to identify 
a scene from long-ago?  
Not a memory, exactly... more like an apparition.

 I'm thinking of a 1950's (televised) movie -- something akin to what we now call a Hallmark Classic:

Christmas eve, a poor boy shivers in his thin jacket.  On tip-toe, his bare fingers scrape a bit of frost from the window of a grand home.  Inside, his younger brothers and sisters are enjoying a festive holiday feast with their doting, newly-adoptive parents.

Unbenownst to the occupants, the brother raises one hand - then turns and slowly walks away in the snow.

At the time, I thought it the saddest story ever told.

Fast-forward a decade.  Or several ...

I'm not sure if it's human nature (or a character flaw!) but this time of year, when darkness dominates, I can't help but glance inside unshuttered windows along the way.

Don't get me wrong!  
I'm not one to lurk in the shadows.  
But, even a momentary glance leaves me feeling guilty.  What do I expect to see, anyway?

I recall another grand home that captured my fancy -- this on a fabled avenue in West Texas.  The 'silk stocking district', as my parents might say.
It seemed the home's occupants never cloistered themselves -- at least not their wonderfully-appointed formal living and dining rooms.

Dang, but my imagination used to run amok!  I visualized the family members, each looking as if he or she had been selected by a Madison Avenue maven.  It was only fitting.

What's odd?
For as long as I can remember, I've been all about closed drapes and sealed shutters.
I've mentioned this before, but have to chuckle at the irony of my father's admonition when he'd call home each eve:
"Are all the doors locked ... the curtains drawn?"
(This, in arguably the safest non-military township in the Nation!)   

Here's a pix of sis-in-law's den/sun room.
When we last visited it was all I could do to sit nicely watching TV after dark.
Finally, I couldn't stand it any longer.  "Aren't you concerned about someone on the other side of the glass, out there in the woods?"
I guess that hadn't occurred to her.  Theirs is, after all a gated community with 24-7 security patrols.

Still, it's not someplace you'd ever catch me in my ratty, mis-matched jammies!

Does being watched - even fleetingly - concern you?

Fright Night's looming ... stay safe, m'friends!

Hugs from Phoenix,

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Bosses and other frivolities

Hello friends, 
Has everyone enjoyed a nice weekend?

For some reason, I was feeling particularly nostalgic and weepy Friday: "Boss's Day."   Actually, I'd done my boss and myself  an enormous favor, and took the day off.  (*smile*)

Don't get me wrong!  
M's a nice enough person, but our working relationship isn't as pleasant as it could be.   
(Yes, I realize it takes two.) 

It's just, she's had some pretty stellar predecessors.  

45 years ..... 6 desks ..... 14 bosses.
My goodness, the amazing life lessons they showed me!

Larger-than-life, there was R.E. Kennedy, Vice President of West Texas Utilities.   I can close my eyes and still feel the absurdly-thick carpet beneath my feet, the maroon and mahogany appointments ... even the enormous portrait of his only child taken at her debutante ball.   
(Yes, even rural Abilene had a small but strong society.)  

The impeccably-dressed Mr. K taught me that the higher one's rank, the later one should appear in the workplace.  Isn't that a hoot?
Mostly, he taught me a measure of kindness.   Without fail, each Monday morning he'd bid me to come inside, sit down and "Tell me about your weekend." I chuckle now, wondering what in the world a person of his stature would find remotely interesting about his mousy, 21-year old secretary's life.      

There was Doyl, the countrified CPA -- first a mentor, then a friend; we became one another's confidante.   Looking back, sometimes I wonder what may have become of our relationship had I not met my husband and he, the witch who became his wife and later, broke his spirit.  

Frank ... and later, oh-so intimidating Jo Anne soon became more than my superiors  ... in large part because they never treated me as anything except their equal.   They elicit my ideas, my feelings.  Together we'd drink more than was wise and laugh louder than necessary.   
And you know what?   
Even today, I'd go to the wall for them.  In a heartbeat.
True, that!

* * *

On a cheerier note ...

I claimed not to be interested in attending another estate sale, but DH found one advertising WWII die-cast planes and asked if we might go.  In truth, most was picked over and what remained was ridiculously over-priced.

But! Over there, to the side was a cute farmhouse-style table and chairs in like-new condition!  
I was loathe to pay the $150 they were asking ... and even walked away when she dropped the price to $90.  (Idiot!)
Fortunately, we got a call early Saturday asking if we'd still like it for $77.50.  
Gotta tell you, DH and I beat feet up the 101 like the devil himself was on our heels!

Isn't it cute?

* * *

Best of all?
This morning I told my misgivings to take a hike and booked our December airfare to Alabama!

As we've all been reminded time and again, Life's awfully short.
Can't wait to hug this girl's young lady's neck and meet the chap who's stolen her heart!

As ever, thanks for pausing amid your busy lives to listen.
Take good care ... and please, don't forget to fasten your seatbelts. 

Hugs from Phoenix,

Friday, October 9, 2015

Friday Letters, October 9 Edition

Just call me 'Slug', folks.  
Why is it, I've all this brim n' bravado going on first thing each morning ... but let me stop for lunch, and not an hour later I'm sound asleep on the nearest upholstered something or another.

For the time being, I'm wide awake and wanted to stop to share a few letters.  (Gosh forbid, I do something useful after 5 on a Friday eve!)  

Dear Estate Sale facilitators,
'Not sure why, but I've never been to an estate sale before. Witnessing Kim's treasures, week after week, must have been gnawing at my subconscious, because when DH said we probably need new dining room chairs, I jumped.  Not only was he willing to drive, I learned he used to go estate sales all the time!

I was unreasonably excited this morning -- like an 8 year-old on her way to the State Fair.   Except this 'fair' was the area known as Sun City ... where golf carts regularly vie with autos for the right of way. 

Not long after entering Home #1, I was taken aback by an inexplicable sadness.   
I never came out and asked, but had a strong sense the home owners were deceased..... their survivors uninterested in what miscellany remained.  

And what an assortment of the everyday!   It was like the Mr. and Mrs. had stepped out to church or to the store and never returned. Except for food stuffs, everything else one could imagine was there for the taking.   Crazy, because I certainly didn't know the home's previous occupants ... but I felt odd touching the kitchen crockery, their personal bath effects.   Even the staggering amount of cleaning supplies at the ready seemed like an intrusion.  

No worries!   By Homes #3 and #4 I'd gotten over myself. Unfortunately, we didn't find any dinette chairs, and the 3 boxes I'd stowed in DH's truck remained empty.   

Pardon the photo bomber!

The sweet carpet runner I found for DH's bathroom looks perfect, but I don't think I'll be in a hurry to repeat the estate sale experience.

Dearest His n' Hers Offspring,
If some evening we shouldn't come home, please take what you will -- then run over the rest with the biggest, baddest truck you can find!  
I'm not especially fond of this house, but I can't bear the thought of strangers walking about and sharing their own perceptions.

Dear N.Y. Deli,
You really, really ought to put a disclaimer on your menu. Perhaps something akin to those warnings on driver's side mirrors: "Objects may be larger than what they appear." 
Pastrami and Pepperoni omelet

I can't wait for the weather to cool and return (time and again!) for your chicken matzah-ball soup.

Dear Bloggy friend,
I'm sooo excited meet you tomorrow night!   
(BTW, I'll be the one in the purple top, whose left cheek looks like I fell asleep with my head on the waffle iron.)

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Hugs from Phoenix,

Sunday, October 4, 2015

A Helping of Randomness

Oops, I did it again.
Hubby (helping unpack my recent bounty from Super Target):  "Don't we already have a brand-new jar of ______?"

Me:  "Well, yes.  But I went to count the number of items in the cart, and there were 6.  So I had to grab something else."

Knowing there's little likelihood I'll be changing my spots anytime soon, he probably figured rolling his eyes wasn't worth the effort.

Really, I've never considered myself superstitious.
Except for the number 6.  Particularly in thrice.  
(... See, I can't bring myself to even type it here!)

Once I threw away a $2-off coupon because it's identifying redemption code began with a triple-six.  
Only the other day I noted someone at my workplace drives an (otherwise innocuous) sedan whose license tag bears three 6's.    I've considering lingering, to see to whom it might belong.
Then again, what would that accomplish?  It's not like I'm going to jump out and examine their scalp for miniature horns.  

Seriously, I wonder if some folks don't 'get' the significance.  Or probably, they don't give it a second thought.

It might be urban legend, but I recall hearing of an unlikely lottery winner in Florida.  Although she'd never before purchased a lottery ticket, when the cashier announced her total (yes, you guessed it) she panicked and blurted, "Give me a lottery ticket ... that number must change."

Personally I find him a little annoying, but mimicking ABC's John Quinones, "What would YOU do?"!

* * *

Speaking of the Lottery .....
Friend Jack at the Ship's Log told a cute story about a man beseeching the good Lord for favor. Whereupon the Lord looked down and said, "Help me out here ... buy a ticket!"

Like Jack, I love to daydream.   Except my fantasies have realigned themselves so often the Lord's probably just shaking His head.       

Because I've worked outside the home for so long now - and forgot to craft a life - the prospect of retirement is scary.   So, methinks I'd like to purchase a little business and continue working ... but the first thing on my must-have list would be a PRIVATE 'executive washroom.'   It's been over 20 years since I used to sub for the President's secretary at the TV station ... but I've not outgrown my awe at his private, black-marbled potty room.   
I guess, it's true what they say, Rank Hath Its Privilege.    
Or my favorite, Little Things Mean a Lot.  

* * *

Finally, another contribution to 
Ye Olde Generation Gap:

Helping facilitate another team-building exercise and armed with 'fun size' chocolate bars, I began to narrate "Who Said That?" -- random facts submitted by management and associates alike.   

Color me astonished.  
After reading Diana's card, "I once got a job as a Playboy bunny", folks began calling out names of their MALE co-workers.   
I don't think there was a soul in the room who knew what a Playboy bunny was!

Another slice of my youth gone by the by when I wasn't looking.
Don't blink!

Hugs from Phoenix,