February 20 – Because the thermometer announced that it was zero when I got up yesterday morning, Dale announced (from the warm bed) that he thought it would be better to go into town later than we usually do. So we had breakfast before we left, and just took our time getting ready. After putting out lots of millet and sunflower seeds for the birds, and shoveling a bit of the driveway, we were ready to move out to the road.
Our rural gravel road didn’t give a very comfortable ride, but once we hit the paved county highway, all was well with not a speck of ice on the surface. More books at the Thrift Store, conversations about the snow, and a reminder of the beautiful jug-vase we had bought sometime ago at a garage sale, just because it was lovely. It has stood on the floor at one end of the TV for months now, and fortunately, the cat hasn’t decided to check it out.
We stopped in to see our good friends Clyde and Nan before moving on to the grocery store. We took two boxes of old, old Valentine’s Day cards so they could check through them and see the really wonderful works of art. Not just one page or a greeting card as we see today, but those that stand up with three or four different levels, very colorful, but not glossy, with lace-like trimming all around the borders. Clyde looked at one or two, then asked, “Are you sure you trust us with these?” Well, now, who would we trust any more than Clyde and Nan who are as honest as “the day is long”!
As we were talking, Clyde jumped up and started looking all around the living room while saying, “I have something for you, but I don’t see it. Wait a bit while I try to find it!” By then Nan had joined him and came back to where we were sitting. Handing us a big jar of a mixture of several kinds of bite-size cereal, pretzels, cheerios, cheezits, and peanuts , Clyde announced, “It’s for you! I made it myself!” Clyde is a diligent student of the Bible and follows a Christian speaker on one of the local radio stations. “He preaches what’s in the Word, and it’s easy to follow his studies.”
At Price Chopper while in the yogurt aisle, I saw a young woman trying to reach up to what must have been her favorite flavor. The tall young man with her, probably her husband, immediately saw the problem, reached right over her head and delivered the yogurt to her. I couldn’t resist. Tapping her on the shoulder, and apologizing for interrupting, I smiled and said, “Boy, are you lucky!” The pair looked at me quizzically, mouthing the word, “Why?”
“I hope you don’t mind the interruption,” I said, “but I have always had problems reaching up to something I want that is so high that I can’t even touch it! Maybe you know Mike who works here in the store. Well, the first time I ever saw him, he was kneeling in front of a shelf, loading it up with products. I stood right next to him and said, ‘Well, you aren’t taller than I am after all!'”
Both of the young folks laughed, before the man said, “But you know, there are some problems with being tall, too! Know why? Lots of times when I’m in a room, I bang my head on something that you probably don’t even see unless you look way up!”
“Yes, I do know that,” I replied, “because in our house I am the only one who can go down the stairs to the basement without banging my head when I hit the last step. A number of folks in our family and among our friends have had sore spots on their craniums because they haven’t lowered their heads before reaching the end of the stairs. ”
At the check-out counter, we talked a bit with our good friend Sheila, who has recovered enough from her fall last year that she is now back working at her old job at the counter. Her smile is just as big as ever, and her words kindly. Like us, she is ready to develop spring fever, and wants so much to be outside again.
On the way home, Dale picked up a copy of the monthly “Lone Jack Corridor,” at the bank. As usual, he has a good African story in the paper (many of which you’ve seen in our blog), and often the people at the bank announce that they have read that story and by now recognize the man who wrote it. – CHRIS