Archive for May, 2018

Cabins are a lot of fun, but a lot of work. Luckily, we can usually manage to do both. Our family has owned the lake property since the late 1950’s, so my sister and I were the first generation of kids to swim and play on the beach with a bucket and a shovel, tadpoles and fishing poles. Over the years, the sand turned to wild strawberry plants, then weeds. Dad would cut it with a scythe, but in the later years since the next generation took over, a lawn mower is used, although the old scythe is probably around there somewhere. Keeping the weeds down helps decrease the bug population, but you wouldn’t know it by the mosquitoes we slapped and flies we waved away, even though we doused ourselves with repellent. Some things never change. HE surprised our grandson with a big pile of sand up on the lawn, and as everyone began to rake it to make a beach of sorts, Max became the king of the hill. Seeing all that sand reminded me of my own childhood summers there, and I longed to slide down that pile myself, barefoot and without a care in the world except for a few itchy mosquito bites. Having sand in one’s britches is more bothersome for an old grandmother than a young boy however, and besides, there were dishes to wash the old-fashioned way. That means hauling water from the pump and boiling it on the stove before pouring it into a dish pan and scalding your hands. Some of you would probably rather have sand in your britches, but believe me, there is a nice view of the woods from the kitchen, the birds were singing, and the work went by quickly. As the king reluctantly left the hill, covered in sand from the top of his head to the tips of his toes and carrying a toy shovel, he looked back and said, “Keep it just like this forever!” Oh, my heart! Even with mosquitoes and flies and sand in my britches, I would if I only could.

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The Sweet Spot

“You might be a redneck if…Your only condiment on the kitchen table is the economy size bottle of ketchup.” ~Jeff Foxworthy

Mother’s Day, 2018. You would think I would have better things to do than visit the local big-box store. Unfortunately, I mixed up the time on my Mother’s Day lunch and had more than an hour to kill. For some reason, every person in town along with many whining and/or hyperactive children also thought that Mother’s Day afternoon would be a good time to shop. Today, I killed time by searching for specific things: A new band for the fitness tracker that I wear on my wrist. (Nowhere to be found, nor was anybody at the counter.) A bag of crackers made with 100% cheese and nothing else. (No longer in the deli section and definitely not in the cracker section.) Last but not least, small bottles of a certain brand name ketchup. We are a family of three, if you count our small Chihuahua as one, and he doesn’t even like ketchup. Every summer, I have to buy one bottle for our cabin, one for the motorhome, and of course, an extra one for the pantry. I don’t want to have to find room in small coolers or refrigerators for giant 32 or 64 oz. bottles of ketchup that require two hands to pick up and squirt. Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer small glass bottles which must have the sweet spot smacked in order for the ketchup to come out while you wait patiently with anticipation. Apparently, they are as out of fashion as I am, at least in big box stores, where almost everything is super-sized. Finally, I spied some smaller bottles on the bottom shelf. Not only were they on the bottom shelf, but they were slid way to the back and located behind a large iron support column, almost out of eyesight. Here’s the problem: My own rather large er… “support column” could not squeeze between that and the bottom shelf. I could get down on my hands and knees, but would risk being run down by the many shoppers who were texting while driving shopping carts. Worse, there was an even higher risk that once down, I wouldn’t make it back up. Using my newly-practiced yoga moves and holding precariously to the side of the cart, I leaned waaayy over to one side and snatched up a bottle, then one more. Whew! Finally. Then I saw the label: NO SALT ADDED. No wonder they were hidden away in the dark recesses of the big box kingdom! I gave up and headed for the checkout lanes, the shortest being behind a lady purchasing 15 gallons of milk. Thankful that I didn’t have to lug 15 gallons of milk out to the car and into a refrigerator that is surely going to be too small, I paid for my purchases and headed out the door. I may not have found a fitness band, cheese crackers, or ketchup, but I managed to find an economy-sized package of dinner napkins that should last us well into next year.

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