Friday, March 28, 2014

March 28: Dandelion Stems, Dilated Pupils, Dunce Fairy Tale

In early summer there are plenty of things for a child to eat and drink and suck and chew.  Dandelion stems are full of milk, clover heads are loaded with nectar, the Frigidaire is full of ice-cold drinks.  Everywhere you look is life, even the little ball of spit on the weed stalk, if you poke it apart, has a green worm inside it.  And on the under side of the leaf of the potato vine are the bright orange eggs of the potato bug.

The above passage from Charlotte's Web has nothing to do with this post.  I simply liked it because it's about summer, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan seems to be in a state of eternal winter, like Narnia.  I haven't seen the White Witch anywhere in my neighborhood, but we have enough snow to choke a whole herd of centaurs.

I woke up this morning to another eight or nine inches of wet, heavy snow and all kinds of school cancellations.  Yes, my children got to stay home today.  As my daughter said, when she finally dragged herself out of bed, "Spring break came one day early."

I spent most of the a.m. hours shoveling.  I started with my front porch steps.  Moved on to my car.  Drove over to a friend's house and got her cleared out.  Went back home, took a shower, and then drove to the university for my office hours.  By the afternoon, the world was blazing white under a clear, blue sky.  And things were melting.

I went to the eye doctor for a checkup.  I knew I needed bifocals.  I've needed bifocals for a couple of years now but have refused to admit it.  Today, I surrendered.  I'm tired of ripping my glasses on and off my face when I'm reading.  The doctor tried to dissuade me a little, spoke about periods of adjustment and additional costs.  He almost talked me out of it.  But, with my pupils dilated and light pounding my brain, I picked out a pair of frames and ordered bifocals.

I am officially middle-aged to old.

Once upon a time, a dunce named Rolf lived in a land of eternal winter.  In the morning, when Rolf woke up, it was snowing.  In the afternoon, when Rolf got home from dunce school, it was snowing.  At night, when he climbed into bed, it was snowing.  Rolf was tired of snow.

One day, Rolf asked his neighbor, "Is it ever going to stop snowing?"

His neighbor laughed and said, "It hasn't snowed in five years here."

Rolf blinked.  "What are you talking about?  It's always snowing here."

His neighbor reached over and took the glasses off Rolf's face.  "Your lenses are all scratched up, Rolf.  Plus, you have cataracts."

Looking around, Rolf said, "I'm too young to have cataracts."

The neighbor put his hand on Rolf's shoulder.  "You're 45 years old.  And a dunce."

Moral of the story:  Middle-aged people live in denial, especially if they're stupid.

And Saint Marty lived happily ever after.

This pretty much says it all

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