Thursday, February 28, 2008

Playing catch up

To give you an idea of how far behind I am, I'll just admit that there's still Christmas giftwrap paper on my dining table. I'd take a picture to prove it, but there's so much mail piled up I'm not sure you could pick out the giftwrap.

Beginning a few months before my 65th birthday, the level of junk mail I get increased threefold, and I cannot make myself throw it out without looking at it first. Don't know what's the psychological root cause of that ridiculous tendency, but I need to work on it.

Then, because the clutter wasn't already bad enough, I got sick and let everything go for another two weeks. Feeling bad was all the excuse I needed to flop on the sofa and watch political news instead of picking up after myself. Life, of couse, went on around me:

The Sporting Life
I've written before about how important sports are to people around here. The adults are huge fans, and for every kid who wants to be on a team, there's some kind of ball to play.

There's another group of sportsminded kids who don't play on teams. These kids are old enough to ride around in cars, and their sport of choice is rural mailbox bashing.

These three mailboxes near the end of my driveway were all knocked down last Friday. My next-door neighbor got hers up the next morning. Mine was bashed in too much, so I had to go out and shop for a new one ($27 plus tax plus the cost of stick-on letters). Thanks to help from Kim, I had a mailbox back on the post by Monday afternoon. The neighbors in front of me are still without one.

My message to these sporty young men (girls don't generally do this for fun) who cost three families time and money is this: I hope you grow up to be fine, responsible citizens someday. And then I hope that each of you gets to deal with at least one son who's a chip off the old block.

A Dog's Life
I've also written before about my muddy backyard. It's a pain in the backside at the best of times, but cleaning muddy dog feet several times a day is especially annoying to one who has the flu.

As usual, Butch has been able to go outside and come back in with the barest minimum of soil on the pads of his feet, and Kadi has come back in every single time with mud all the way up to her ankles or higher. Once, the mud was so thick and high on Kadi's legs that I threw my hands up to my cheeks Home-Alone style when I saw her.

There was way too much mud on her to clean off with a wet towel, and I think she must have realized she'd overdone it. I jabbed a finger at her and said, in a low, deadly serious tone, "You. Better. Come with me. Right now," and Kadi willingly, for the first time in many years, followed me to the bathroom and climbed into the tub.

At that moment hell froze over, so the mud hasn't been too bad since then.

Mother Nature Likes to Play, Too
We've had strong winds for the past few days, but this afternoon was sunny and warm. After work, I thought it would be nice to sit outside on the patio and breathe in some fresh air, but Mother Nature has been busy redecorating all the lawn chairs. I just stood in the doorway and appreciated her artwork instead.

This is getting way too long, so I'll stop now and give us all a rest. Besides, I want to leave a little something to write about tomorrow. I wouldn't want to wait another four years to post something on February 29th.


  1. so glad to read your posts....glad you are better...65 ouch....

  2. So glad you feel like posting again. You've been sorely missed!

    Love that photo of the leaves.

    Re: the mailboxes. Almost everyone in my mom's neighborhood has build elaborate concrete mailboxes to contend with that type of youngster. Of course, when I was last home, that concrete didn't stop a drunk from tearing into her box and driving home leaving a large chunk of his car in Mom's front yard!

    Love your Kadi story!

  3. You give me smiles and delight with your post today, Velvet. Your sense of humor is simply delicious.

    My across the street neighbors love to talk about their adolescences when they knocked down mailboxes and decorated yards with toilet paper. They have a teenage son now and I'll hope that your blessings reach all the way to my street in Little Rock.

    Maybe then Hell will freeze over here.

  4. I'm glad your energy is coming back! Thanks for reminding me about the 29th, I'll have to come up with something clever to write too on this 'once every four years day'.

    I also love the leaves in the chair photo. Carmon

    PS. I'm a tosser. Most of our junk mail stays in the post office trash cans, unopened.

  5. Yea! You're back. I'm glad. And I'm angry at the punks who did that to your mailbox and the neighbors. Sigh.

  6. 4th Sister, 65 doesn't feel a bit worse than 60 -- and it pays better.

    Creekhiker, I've noticed a lot of new homes being built with matching brick-enclosed mailboxes. Sounds like your mom's mailbox fared better than the drunk who hit it.

    Annie, the big oak tree in our front yard has been toilet-papered twice in the past couple of years, probably in an attempt to capture the attention of the pretty teenager who lives in the house in front of mine. At least I think her parents assumed that's what happened; they made her and her friends clean it up.

    Carmon, I'm so impressed by your relentless tossing of junk mail. I'm gonna keep your image in my mind when I tackle the pile on my dining table.

    Alison, I was angry, too -- but I must admit I like my shiny new mailbox.

  7. As a rural mail carrier, I have to deal almost weekly with bashed mailboxes. I have suggested (to no avail)that a policeman should speak to high school students about the fact that a mailbox is federal property and violators can be fined up to $250,000 or imprisoned for up to three years for each act of vandalism. I am quite sure that would not happen unless something very valuable was inside the box when it was damaged.

    Sorry about that rant. This is a very sore subject with me.

    I also loved your picture of the leaves.

  8. Linda, rant on! I think your idea about having a policeman talk to high school students is a good one. It occurred to me just this minute that the kind of kids who do things like this grow up to be the kind of men who toss beer bottles on the side of the road as they drive home from work. I wish *somebody* could straighten them out early on.

    Thanks for visiting my blog; I hope you'll come back.

  9. You can never have too long a post!

    I'm starting to have a muddy paw problem now that the snow has melted, and it's especially hair-raising with the new carpet. Of course Spot doesn't wait in the kitchen like I ask him to, he shoots straight through to the living room. If I had my head on straight, I'd bring a towel outside and hang it on the railing by the door for the times I'm outside with him and can catch the mud before he brings it in. But when he's out on his own, I guess I'll be on my hands and knees wiping up mud off the carpet.


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