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That’s Life

By Ruth Nowlin

Unfortunately for anyone who gets in my way, ‘tis the season for spring-cleaning.  O.K.  I realize that spring is not officially here but I am not as speedy with housework, or any other work for that matter, so as soon as the Christmas tree and other decorations as safely tucked away in the attic, I begin turning things “uppa-side-down” to quote my granddaughter.  My way of cleaning is to dump out drawers, cabinets, etc., wipe them out and start all over.  Can’t clean where the fireplace sends out dust and grime until later but lots I can do.

With all that said, this is the day to begin cleaning the kitchen and the fridge is something I hate to clean, next to the stove.  So, with turning it out I find lots of “leftovers.”  Some I can save but lots of penicillin has been made in others.  So out they go.  Start over.

Isn’t that so with lots of other things in life, other than leftover food.  I well remember something that my second husband said to my Mom.  She thought he was saying something derogatory, but he meant it well.  He said, “ He (meaning my first husband) threw away something well worth keeping and I mean to keep it and to keep it well.” Of course he meant me.  People are like that.  We throw away friendships and even family members with our tongues and actions. Sometimes it is a temporary thing, like moving food over and forgetting where we put it, but sometimes it gets molded and fit for nothing but discarding.  I saw a little cartoon the other day with a little child’s face. The frown showed it was not pleased and perhaps angry. The notation said, “I can control my tongue but I find it hard to control my face.”  Sometimes our tongue says one thing and our face says something quite to the contrary.

       Now I have lost a few relationships due to souring words or my expression but I have also picked up a few that were well worth saving.  It is so true that “words softly spoken are like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” And a smile sure goes a long way to picking up, soothing over and keeping leftovers that someone else or I have cast aside.

I can’t leave this subject without mentioning other leftovers, material ones, that I have been blessed to have along my journey through this life.  Some have been the leftover clothing that others outgrew or just didn’t want. How I loved to get the boxes from relatives containing clothing, shoes, books and other castaways.  They were new to me and preserved to be used again.

My home is a leftover.  It was left over by many generations and finally taken up by my dear carpenter best friend and is a haven for us – there IS no placed like home. Even my animal family has been leftovers.  We have never gone out and chosen a dog or cat.  They were either dumped here (how I despise anyone who does that) or one of the grandchildren decided they were discarding the dear animal and we took the leftover to love.  Our sweet Wobbles were found on the place and treasured until the day they died.  (We will always have a hole in our hearts for them.)

So, I must now stop musing and get to work.  The fridge is no cleaner than when I began this article.  It is time to keep or throw away.  I hope I can always know the difference and proceed with caution.

You know, even this computer is a leftover.  It went through three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as a close companion to my son before he cast it aside for a newer and better one.  It is serving well and I am thankful for another – leftover.

…and that’s life.

 

Fluctuations

By Lisa Harris

We have seen a fluctuation in temperatures from cold to warm for most of January except the latter part. It surprised me to see that my atmos energy bill for the month of January was higher than the bill from December. It seems that the temperature is not the only fluctuation occurring.  This puzzled me since I had the heat turned off for most of January! I wonder if they even read the meter gages or just flip a coin as to whether your bill goes up or down. I also have seen a rise in my water bill. At first I didn’t think too much about it. Now that it keeps rising, I am somewhat concerned. If these establishments have the idea that I have come into some extra “windfall” or something, I can assure you I have NOT! If this keeps up, I may have to start acting like my mother. “You have had a bath this morning, so you don’t need another at bedtime.  You are changing clothes too much; you should only wear one outfit per day. Turn off the heat and put some clothes on. Money doesn’t grow on trees etc. etc.” It will be a sad day when that transformation takes place, but I am on the verge of channeling the old lady.

Kids always seem to want money, but they don’t feel the need to get a part time job. My youngest put ten dollars in his gas tank of his “own money” that he swindled out of his dad. Since the DMV was not taking driving tests on that day, he said that I owed him ten dollars. I wasn’t quite sure how this was so, but he explained it to me.  I figure he was going to have to put gas in his truck anyhow. He stated that if I had called first we would have known that they weren’t driving. He then would not have had to put ten dollars in his gas tank because he doesn’t need as much gas to travel around Ackerman.  Well I guess that makes a little sense, so I owe him ten dollars. It seems a bit like extortion, but whatever keeps the peace.

    I’d like to know when I can start getting some discounts on being a senior citizen. I don’t care for coffee, so I don’t need a discount at Starbucks. I do like the movie theater. I bet they give discounts there, but probably not until 55 or older. I’m just at the beginning stages of the senior years. I think they should give discounts on bills. If you pay bills most of your life, then at 50 you get everything that life has to offer for half price. I may to have to do one of those marches in D.C. for senior citizen access to begin at 50. We could wear caps with furry ears to represent “old bats.” Now that’s classy.

Saving is not my forte. I need to start trying to do so since my vehicle seems to be in its last stages of a terminal illness and I don’t see remission in sight.  I had a new heater core put in that repaired a severe coolant leak.  I had a transmission fluid leak fixed. Now my brakes make an awful noise when stopping. I’m over 200, 000 miles. I’m going for the record on how long I can keep a car running. Maybe I can get a monetary prize and buy a new one.

To review the fine points previously made, I am for senior citizen discounts on everything at the age of 50. I believe that teenagers should work at least part time instead of practicing methods of extortion on their parents. I think that my bills have been hacked into and raised substantially, and I am on the verge of channeling my mother. Well, I’d say that’s about all you never wanted to know. Happy Wednesday!