HAPPY BIRTHDAY, to my dear sister Sue, 63 today. Okay, I'm finally apologizing for sneaking into your bedroom with the record player while you were sleeping, and blasting "Wake Up, Little Susie." Oh, and for putting that bug in your peanut butter sandwich (just a teeny tiny ant, but I've lived with the guilt long enough). Love you, my dahling big sister Susie-Q.
SNAPPED THESE IDLING BOVINES basking in a field this morning. I've always admired the imperturbability of these creatures. Want a dose of humility? Watch them watch you. They wouldn't be impressed if you were on fire. And, yes, the recumbent cow folklore is true; it was raining before I got home. Meanwhile, feel free to caption away.
I once was a caregiver for a very
old woman, visiting her daily to help tend her basic needs. On my first visit
with her, after a conversation where we'd been discussing the latest news, she
said: "Well, I learned something new; I won't die today!"
helping her bathe, I'd informed her that it was too bad she wasn't born a
giraffe, because they can use their 21-inch tongues to clean their own ears. Animal
kingdom trivia that I’d picked up on Facebook, but a fun fact all the same, and
enough to reaffirm her belief, she told me, that any day we laugh and learn, we
I added this to my holistic plan to
help her maintain optimum health, and made it a point on subsequent visits to
give her the skinny on something new and entertaining and with all the fun I
could muster. We called it our “New Day” moment, and it became part of our
"Marie, did you know that
moths have no stomachs?"
no! Hooray! Another day!"
responding in kind, she’d ask me: “Did you know that my father was a
didn’t! Ah! Another day for me!”
average scientist might say there’s no proof that a new tidbit of information
administered daily, however tidbitty it might be, will insure longevity or
guarantee another day on earth, but your average scientist is also responsible
for fake hair-in-a-can and bacon-flavored dental floss, so I might be the more
credible source here, and I do like thinking that I helped Marie make it past
the century mark with good humor.
my favorite method of finding that new life-extending fun fact of the day. Yes,
I confess to frequenting this online social network, communicating with
“friends” I’ve never met, and sharing stories that might otherwise have gone on
untold and unheard.
learned in a post from friend Kenneth that goats in Morocco climb trees. Presto.
Another day well-earned, and Marie would’ve loved that one.
timeline of Facebook newsbits from my contacts scrolls by, I always look for
the juiciest offerings: something I can use to impress the postmistress later
that day and put me in solid with another secured 24 hours.
you seen the tree-climbing goats of Morocco?” I’ll ask, handing her the slip
for a package delivery.
impressed with this, she’ll hand me my bundle and respond: “Sign here.” Poobah.
Little does she know that I just gave her sunrise insurance. You’re welcome.
hold with those who say that Facebook is the home of the humdrum --- another
sign of these times of detachment and lazy embellishment of the real. Without
it, today I wouldn’t have learned about gravity-defying goats in Northwestern
Africa and stopped worrying about tomorrow.
and live what’s happening right now:
My friend Carole
wished us all a good night, sending along big parenthetical virtual (((Hugs)))
and promising to see us all in the morning. She must’ve seen the climbing goat
has just posted a clip of a song that is driving her crazy because she just
can’t get it out of her head. I’ve now learned that I can’t, either.
wants to know why she’d ever consider getting a dog, when she has a cat who
thinks it’s a dog, and posts a picture proving it. Not exactly a fact worthy of
granting me another day, but I’ll put it in the bonus column of new minutiae as
has just announced that elephants are the only animals that can’t jump. This
has unleashed a flurry of debate, with like-minded friends citing non-jumping
hippos and rhinoceroses and sloths.
informs us that due to his hard work through last fall and winter, he now has
enough firewood to last all summer.
Alesa has posted a sign proclaiming: “If the food you eat can go bad, it’s good
for you. If it can’t go bad, it’s bad
Jackie reminds everyone that “It doesn’t matter how big and tough you are. When a two-year old child hands you a toy
phone, you answer it.”
seven-year old grandson Myles beat me at chess. Really, he did, even when his
kind heart offered to let me cheat: “If you want to move your rook, I’ll look
away and pretend I didn’t see it.”
Now, on his
grandmother’s Facebook page, I’ve just learned that yesterday he beat her at
That new knowledge
alone will see me through the rest of this day, but this morning I still wish
that we had tongues long enough to clean our ears.
be fine and live well until tomorrow, however, now knowing which animals do.
* * * * *
Senior Wire News Service syndicated humor columnist B. Elwin
Sherman writes from Bethlehem, NH. Copyright
2013, all rights reserved. Used here
Just back from a 6000-mile crosscountry trip, out to and back from Tucson. Not something I planned to do as a road trip alone, but plans change, both willfully and by circumstance. Two weeks total, with 10 of those days behind the wheel. Loveless highway hotels, gas station sandwiches with better left unknown origins, 80-degree fluctuation in temperature from start to middle to finish, and always the land ahead unfolding, flattening, rising, with horizons and mirages indistinguishable after 600-mile plus days. Sometimes, my mind's eye was the virtual reality, sometimes the landscape. Some roads hummed, some whined, some bassooned, some were silent as glass.
Accents and hospitalities and accommodations changed like clouds, and I passed through America's metropoli and rural Brobdingnagians like a bullet in freeze-frame.
To not know what comes next, to never feel static, to always be in the grip of wonder, anxiety, fear and curiosity.