Sweet Home Alabam’r

signs I was busy reading my email, ignoring the TV, as usual, when a story came on the 6 o’clock news that caused me to drop my computer mouse on the floor. They were putting up Alabama road signs in Massachusetts.

I couldn’t believe it either, but apparently a contractor was hired to put up highway signs with shape of the state on them, as well as the highway number. He used the wrong shape.

Since Yankees have always been so fond of making fun of our good ol’ boys from the South, I figured that it is our turn now. Even a redneck wouldn’t mistake Alabama for Massachusetts. Believe me, they are nothing alike – except to a Yankee that is smart enough to work on roads, but not smart enough to study geography.

Okay, maybe I’m being a little hard on them. The contractor tried to pass the buck, saying that he hired another company to make the signs. But he did put them up without noticing that they had used the wrong state. Not only was the sign wrong, but no one else noticed the mistake until much later. Maybe we could send some Alabama road maps to Boston so they will know what Alabama looks like?

Maybe they wanted folks to think they were in Alabama instead of Massachusetts, as an article from the Associated Press seemed to suggest. Maybe those northerners took a good, long look and decided the South with its mild winters was such a fine place to live that they just couldn’t measure up.

Maybe they were just so envious of all the redneck jokes that they wanted to try and get in on the act. Do you supposed they realized that accent of a New Englander, with its hard “r”, is much more humorous than the soft, velvet tones of southern voices?

Really, the two states have very little in common at all when you think about it. Those northern folks would need to import some hot weather, have a fish fry, and learn to two-step to even slightly resemble our southern culture.

I think they are envious of the South and the truth has finally come out. They are so jealous that they want to be the Alabama of the North, eating pinto beans instead of those baked ones, and topping it off with some southern coconut cream pie, much better that that cream pie from Boston.

Well, let it not be said that the South is not generous and understanding to our deprived neighbors north of “the line.” If they want to pretend to be like us, let ’em. That’s a whole bunch better than having them move down here. Let’s just let them stay up there and pretend they are “down home” in God’s county.

We know it must be tough to be from the North and that not everyone could be born southern, so we won’t hold it against them, like they have us. If they want to drink sweet tea at their next tea party, drive pickup trucks instead of running marathons, or even borrow Jeff Foxworthy for a day or two, we will understand.

We might even send them a care package of Kudzu seeds to help them get started out in the right direction. Or we could send a mason jar of those cute little critters known as fire ants. A few chiggers would be a nice gesture, just to show them our true generosity.

There’s only one thing that we would like to ask in return. Plant that Alabama road sign down here where it belongs in some good red southern dirt.

Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss
Edited
Posted in Humor, Southern Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dear Gaylord Texan

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I would like to thank you for making my recent trip to Dallas-Ft. Worth to the Newspaper Columnists’ convention so pleasant. I must confess that, although I had heard that things in Texas are big, I really had no idea exactly what to expect. Your hotel is so large that it took me the entire first day just to find my room in spite of the map that the desk clerk gave me. May I suggest that in the future you also issue compasses and horses.

I was especially impressed by the atrium in the center of the hotel, which would rival any botanical garden. The last I heard, we still had at least one columnist who was lost in the jungle and unaccounted for. We sent out several search parties; however, they always came back unsuccessful. We suspect that this is partly due to the fact that they were side-tracked at one of the watering holes and spent more time hanging out in the hospitality suite than actually searching.

In case there are any towels, coffeepots, hair dryers, TVs, irons, ironing boards or other items missing from my room, I would like to say in advance that you surely must be mistaken. Most likely those items were never there in the first place or were packed in my luggage totally by accident. Also, the safe for valuables that you placed in each room was a nice touch and security was very responsive to the request to come crack the safe open when I forgot the combination.

It sure is hot in Texas! I am recovering nicely from the hypothermia due to the air conditioning in the hotel. I thawed out completely during the sweltering walking tour of the town of Grapevine where the temperature soared to the high ninety’s. Please extend my thanks to the Grapevine Tourism Bureau for making us so welcome! I also enjoyed the nice wine reception that they gave on the first night of the convention, and still managed to make it to the convention’s breakfast the next morning in spite of my migraine headache.

I enjoyed all the writing workshops that I attended and appreciate the storage rooms behind the kitchen that you managed to free up for us to use. We are not at all angry with the eye doctors who were also there for a convention and who hogged up all the good meeting rooms that you had. The rumor that any columnists took passive revenge by wandering the hotel with popping eyeball glasses is totally false and without substance. By the way, if you found a pair of these eyeball glasses in the Yellow Rose Ballroom near the mechanical bull, please just throw them away as they do not belong to me.

I was impressed with just how big Texas really is and was especially in awe of the rush hour traffic in Dallas. I didn’t see any cowboys, oil wells, long-horn steers or other things usually associated with Texas; however, I did see plenty of wide open spaces, just like in the movies. I wore my convention-issued cowboy hat and pretended to be a cowgirl on the bus tour of Dallas. However, I suspect that I might have looked more like a stupid tourist than a real Texas woman — especially since a real cowgirl doesn’t usually have camera hanging around her neck.

I realize that we had a choice and am glad that you appreciate the fact that we chose your hotel for our convention. I know that there are Gaylord facilities in three other locations and will be happy to honor your request to not even think about ever staying at any of them after this. And in case you are wondering, the sheriff accompanied me all the way to the border and made certain that I got out of Texas before sunset!

Sincerely yours,

Sheila Moss
Humor Columnist

Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss
Posted in Humor, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Road Trip

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We decided to drive to Texas instead of flying. Besides saving money, we could see the countryside. Thing is, there isn’t anything to see between here and Texas except trees. It was pretty much like driving through a green tunnel for 12 hours except for the cities, which all, without fail, had construction. Even trees seemed interesting compared to concrete barriers and orange barrels.

I didn’t know it was so far to Texas. There are a lot of rest stops between here and there. I lost count of how many times we stopped. I thought women were the ones that wanted to stop all the time, but my honey stopped so many times I thought we would never get to Texas. Of course, when I wanted to stop it was a different story. We had always just passed a rest stop, and the next one was another 33 miles.

Occasionally, there was the announcement, “I have only 100 miles of gas left – start looking for a station.” This was usually in the middle of a major city on a six-lane road in the middle of a construction zone. In addition, the gas had to be the right flavor. The car apparently only runs on one brand. By the time we found a station that was suitable, the car was coughing and running on fumes.

One interesting part of a road trip, however, is that you have to stop and eat. I like to look for local restaurants, which provide a chance to sample local cuisine. At our first restaurant, the waitress had big hair just like Flo from TV. She brought sweet tea while we visited the food bar. “What’s that yellow stuff?” asked my honey. It was hominy. The green stuff was turnip greens; Flo said so. We knew then that we were somewhere deep in the South.

We attended a conference in Texas and after that was over, we hit the road for the return trip. Why is it that the very same road always seems longer in the reverse direction? There was still nothing to see. Nothing, not even many pine trees until you are almost to Arkansas. The hardest part of driving through Texas is staying awake, aside from finding a gas station with the right flavor of gas, of course.

Did you know there are no restaurants in Hope, Arkansas? We stopped to eat there and drove up and down the street looking but finding nothing but fast food. Finally, we settled on a local catfish place. “What’s this gravy?” my honey asked, looking at a small cup of brown liquid that came with his meal. “That isn’t gravy, its pinto beans!” Guess he forgot we were still in the deep South.

After nearly running out of gas again and coasting into a gas station, we decided we might as well eat again for one last time before home. “Pick a place,” says honey. Of course, with a full tank he drove so fast that by the time I saw anything we were past the exit. Finally, I saw a billboard with a local restaurant that sounded good. “We can stop there, exit 80A, 28 miles.” But the restaurant again couldn’t be found. What is it with finding restaurants?

With stomachs growling, we drove up the street and down the street. Finally, we gave up and went to a different restaurant which turned out to be a fortunate choice. It had more fried chicken than I’ve ever seen in my life. I gained two pounds on the trip, and I’m sure that the fried chicken and peach cobbler are the reason why.

I’m still happy about all the money we saved by driving instead of flying. We probably saved enough to pay for another trip. Of course . . . we will have to drive again..

Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss
Posted in Automotive, Humor, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Dream Car

black car Age 16 – I wanted a sports car. I had my driver’s license and all teens want wheels. I sat on the steps and watched a friend drive by with a low, sleek, sports car. That was my dream! Instead, I had to drive my dad’s old black clunker, and that was only when I could beg hard enough to get his car keys.

Age 21 – A car, any car, I didn’t care what kind of a car. I just wanted transportation. And that was pretty much what I got. My first car was a well-used, two-tone, pink and brown car. The word ugly is really describing it too kindly. You couldn’t get much for $800 even in those days. But – it was a car.

Age 25 – Married, two salaries instead of one. Why are we driving that old bag of bolts that only starts on cold mornings if you keep a light bulb on the engine all night? We decided to get a better car. Okay, I’ll admit it was a blue cracker box on wheels. But it was ours, if you didn’t count the monthly payment book, and best of all, it was NEW.

Age 30 – Kids came along. I needed a station wagon. Didn’t matter what I wanted. I had to have something that could hold a family, the dog, and sometimes most of the little league ball team. The station wagon was brown, not very sharp. Can you believe I liked station wagons so well I upgraded and got another one?

Age 35 – A pickup truck seemed like a good idea, a practical vehicle, something to haul things in. But after the 12 bags of mulch were home, we realized that we really didn’t have anything else much to haul. We got to sit up higher and look down on everyone else, though. And in the unlikely event we ever did need to haul anything else . . . well, we were ready.

Age 40 – The “in” thing was an SUV, four-wheel drive, wouldn’t get stuck in the snow or mud! Never mind that we drove mostly in the city and didn’t really encounter mud on paved streets. You never know out there. We were mean in our monster machine – except at the gas station, where we were broke from filling it up.

Age 45 – we wanted something nice, a luxury car. We traded for sleek, silver boat of a car, complete with soft leather seats, and stereo tape player. A big car was a sign of success, and we wanted to show the world that we were making it, whether we could find a parking place for it or not.

Age 50 – Life is going by fast. I never did get that sports car I dreamed about when I was a kid. Life was half over, no family to worry about. Mid-life crisis attack! I could afford a sports car now, the one I’d always secretly wanted. So, full speed ahead!

Life has come full circle now, and I don’t know what will be next. I’m looking over my shoulder, though, hoping that black clunker isn’t somewhere just around a corner, grinning and waiting.

Copyright 2004 Sheila Moss
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Tips on Doing Housework

cleaning

Ever since the beginning of history, it has been the woman’s job to sweep the cave, and dust the stalagmites. While men have come a long way in recent times, statistics say that housework is still mainly the domain of the women. To enlighten you on how this is best accomplished, I’ve developed a list of tips:

1. Start in the kitchen and do wet cleaning first. Wipe counter tops with warm water and cleaner with a small amount of grease solvent. Wipe out microwave oven. Look in refrigerator. Ugh! Wipe off front of shelves and leave refrigerator for next time. Ditto on oven.

2. Now that kitchen is spotless, mop the kitchen floor. Lemon ammonia is nice and does not leave a soap film. I meant, put a small amount of ammonia the in mop water. Cough! Open a door or window and let fumes out! Be careful, as wet floors are slickkkkkkk…

3. While you are wet anyhow, clean the tile floors in the bathroom. Use bathroom cleaner to clean fixtures and any tile. The bathroom is the worst part of cleaning. Get it over with. Leave shower till later. Replace dirty towels and it will make a world of difference.

4. Let’s do the living area or den next. All we need to do is dust with a soft, treated cloth or duster. Kerchoo! Remember to dust lampshades, tops of doors, and accessories. Kerchoo! We do not need to polish furniture often as it causes wax build up. It takes about an hour for the dust to settle after cleaning. Kerchoo!

5. Remove sheets from beds and put in washer. Hang up clothes and put away shoes. Don’t worry about closets. Out of sight, out of mind. Also, try not to look under bed. If you see dust bunnies, it could become a major project.

6. Use a laundry basket to pick up scattered toys or other items that are out of place throughout the house, and then return the items to the appropriate room. We will hide them for now, however, and do this later since we are starting to become tired.

7. Run vacuum before you collapse entirely. Yes, you are tired, but you have to run the vacuum! How can you clean a house unless you vacuum? Next time we will do that first. But see how much better things look afterwards?

8. Put sheets and towels in dryer and take a break. You deserve it after all you’ve done. Fix a cold drink or a cup of coffee. Relax. Look out the window. Read a newspaper. Do not get on the computer!

9. I told you not to get on the computer! Now, look what time it is and you are not half done! Get sheets out of dryer and make up beds. Hurry up! Resist the temptation to take a nap. You can’t be that tired! All you did all day was a little housework!

10. Use window cleaner to wipe mirrors, TV screens, glass shower doors, and other glass surfaces. Forget windows till another time. You shouldn’t have wasted so much time on the computer.

11. We forgot to vacuum under the furniture cushions. Maybe no one will notice. Who goes around looking under cushions anyhow? We are just doing a go-over, not heavy-duty stuff. Don’t get obsessive-compulsive on me.

12. Empty trash and put away cleaning supplies. Use air spray or potpourri so house will smell fresh. Now take a shower and put on fresh clothes. Uh, oh, sound asleep sitting at the computer. You didn’t even take a shower!

In addition to the modern women, this method works equally well for modern men who are bachelors or men who want to prove that they are no longer Neanderthals. What works even better is hiring a cleaning service and going out for lunch.

Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss
Posted in Home, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

When Harry Marries Meghan

windsor-castle

Here it is the week before the royal wedding and I’m still waiting for my royal invitation which undoubtedly was lost in the royal mail. It doesn’t really matter, though, I don’t have a hat big enough or ugly enough to wear anyhow.

On second thought, maybe I do. My sister and I found a hat box with some hats from the fifties that are pretty bad. They might rival those monstrosities on the heads of the English ladies. Oh, well, too late now. We will have to save them for the next royal wedding or a luncheon of the ladies’ Red Hat Society.

Will you get up early to watch the nuptials on TV? Me neither. I am really shocked at the number of people who said they will, though. For some reason, people are still fascinated by a “Once upon a time” wedding, complete with royal carriage only recently changed from a pumpkin into a vehicle by a Fairy Godmother lurking behind a bush somewhere.

I must admit, they will make a lovely couple. He will wear his military jacket with gold braid, she a white gown and veil, possibly with diamond tiara borrowed from Princess Diana’s collection. It will be a fairy-tale wedding in spite of the fact that she is an American model and divorcee. Is that called a fairy tale or a Hollywood gossip column?

The fashion critics are foaming at the mouth to see the wedding gown. It will probably look pretty much like any other wedding gown, yards and yards of lace and flowing white material, with a train so long someone has to help carry it so the bride can walk. Even as vows are exchanged, fashion designers will go into overdrive creating fabulous knock-offs, arriving soon in a bridal shop near you.

And what about the queen’s outfit? I guess queens don’t wear crowns anymore, or at least not to grandson’s weddings. No crown, no cape, no nothing. At William and Kate’s wedding, she just looked like everyone else, or maybe a bit like a royal canary in a yellow outfit complete with the mandatory yellow hat. How could anyone not think of Big Bird?

When my grandchildren play with Barbie dolls later, they surely will have material for hours of re-enactment of the Prince Harry of Wales and Megan Markel wedding. Somehow, they still seem to prefer Prince Charming and Cinderella. Real life princes and princesses just don’t get the respect they once did.

There is always talk of doing away with royalty in Britain because of the cost to the British taxpayers of maintaining them. Somehow the Brits never get around to it. They simply adore all the pageantry that surrounds the royalty and the spectacle of the filthy rich flaunting their wealth.

This is the first wedding extravaganza since Kate and William were married. The couple is flaunting tradition and acceptance of their romance is considered a progressive step for the modern era. Megan’s unfortunate father has already “decided not to attend” due to negative publicity from his staged photo ops. The big speculation is: “Who will walk her down the aisle?”

After the “intimate wedding” in Winsor Castle with only 600 guests attending and 2040 invited to watch from the grounds, the couple will live happily ever after in a 21 room “apartment” at Kensington Palace. The British will have a new royal couple to give birth to a new generation of princes and princes to be chased by the paparazzi.

So, I suppose I might as well give up on my over-due wedding invitation and just watch the wedding re-runs on NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, or BBC America like the rest of the common people.

Copyright 2011-2018 Sheila Moss
Full Disclosure: Does this article seem familiar? It is a revised edition of “The Kate and William Show,” updated for the latest wedding with only names and some other minor details changed. Funny how little things have changed.
Posted in Fashion, Humor, News & Current Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A Visit with Mom

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As an adult, I used to delay visiting mom as long as possible. Mom made me feel like a child, regardless of my actual age or even the fact that I was also a mom.

Mom’s house was a cluttered arrangement of mementos. Every gift that everyone ever gave her was appropriately displayed, along with pictures of the children,  grandchildren, and every high school graduation or wedding that had ever taken place in the family. One look around the room and your entire life flashed before your eyes.

Mom was always cold so the house was always hot. As beads of sweat pop out, you dared not inquire as to what the temperature might be. “It seems a bit cold in here, only 78 degrees.” Even the houseplants had wilted from lack of air.

Meals at mom’s house were always a smorgasbord. Mom had been cooking for at least a week prior to your visit in spite of the fact that you were overweight and trying to diet. Of course, you had to eat so her work didn’t go to waste. And when you felt as if another bite would make you explode, she said, “I made your favorite dessert, coconut cream pie.”

Sleeping at mom’s house was a real challenge. Mom still had the same mattress on the extra bed in the spare room that had always been there. It must have been at least 50 years old. Even the lumps had mellowed. When you would lay down, you would sink about 8 inches into the mattress, like a waterbed without water.

Of course, just finding the bed was a formidable task. First you must dig through layers of cushions and ruffled bedspreads without tripping over a footstool or knocking over an antique lamp. Chances are that mom had already turned the bed back for you, though.

Mom was very neat. In the morning she made up the bed while you were in the shower. When you left a room, she turned out the light. She put anything
you left out of place beside your suitcase, “So you will be sure not to forget it.” She poured your coffee and put a coaster under your cup. You were not allowed to help with dishes as she could do it faster herself, without a dishwasher.

The principle item in mom’s living room was the television set, and everything focused on the tube, like leaves turning toward the sun. Dad held the remote control. Just as you begin to get interested in a program, he changed the channel. If there was nothing he wanted to watch, he turned it off.

Mom was happier when the TV was turned off because “It makes too much noise
anyhow,” and she could not talk. Mom told the same stories over and over. Sometimes they varied a bit from telling to telling, but mostly they were always the same. She talked from the moment you walked in the door until you left. You knew every doctor she had, every pill she took, every operation and illness, and every friend that had died and who came to the funeral.

If you went somewhere, mom pointed out all the interesting sites along the way: the local nursing home, her lawyer’s office, the school where your sister used to teach, the church that her brother helped to build, the street where houses used to be before the mill tore them down, and other local sites of immense interest.

So, you ate till you ached, you listened till your ears hurt, and you were glad that mom was still able to tell her stories. You loved her in spite of it all.  Now that mom is gone, you realize that what used to be a minor annoyance was simply mom saying “I love you.”

Now you secretly wonder if you will ever become just like her? You are already telling stories.

(c) 2004 Sheila Moss
Edited to Update
Posted in Family, Holidays, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Born Yesterday

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I was born yesterday, fell off a turnip truck, and am not playing with a full deck. I don’t have a spam filter or know how to block an email address. I read all my email, especially the ones offering drugs, sex, and online poker. I believe every word I read. They couldn’t say it if it wasn’t true!

I use my real name on social media and register online with my actual date of birth. I shop online and don’t worry about insecure servers or someone stealing my credit card number. I don’t bother checking my credit card bill either. I just pay the minimum payment and don’t worry about it.

I read all the letters I receive online from people whose husbands were tragically killed, leaving them the sole heir to a large sum of money of which they will give me half — if I help them get it out of Nigeria. I’m sitting here just waiting for my share when they deposit the money in my checking account using my bank account number and PIN that I sent them.

I always fill in subscription forms and give my email address for online mailing lists. If I don’t like their newsletters, I can always unsubscribe. You never know, I might miss out on something I really like otherwise… like daily newsletters on bungee jumping, knitting doorknob covers, and cooking with garlic.

I can’t understand why PayPal thinks that someone else is attempting to use my account. But I clicked the link they sent, and gave them my correct ID and password to verify that it was really me, so that should take care of that problem. Funny how I seem to be getting the same notice from my bank and even from banks I’ve never heard of.

I order from any seller on the net that has something I like. I’m not really concerned about verified sellers. I can’t possibly check the history of every single one of them. I’m still trying to figure out how to return the size 14 shoes I received, but the company seems to have moved their website and my email always bounces.

I don’t worry about computer viruses and open all my attachments. I’m not really too worried about some unknown virus. I run virus protection and a pop-up blocker and clean the spyware off my system every once in a while if I happened to think about it. You must be mistaken. I’m sure it isn’t my computer that sent you that virus the other day.

Yes, I was born yesterday, fell off a turnip truck, and am a few cards short of a full deck. I am running on empty, out to lunch, and dancing out of step. I have bugs in my belfry, a loose wire, and forgot to punch the time clock. There’s a sucker born every minute, so I must have a lot of company out there, at least that’s the way it seems.

A thousand emails a month can’t be wrong. And if you believe a word of what I’ve said here, you must have been born yesterday as well. It’s tough work but somebody has to be stupid enough to believe this stuff and keep the spammers, scammers, spoofers, and phishers in business. Welcome to the club!

Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss
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Tree Hugging

 

The_Survivor_Tree_at_the_Oklahoma_City_National_Memorial

Survivor Tree at Oklahoma City National Memorial – Attribution: Dustin M. Ramsey

Probably most people remember a tree that was important to them in some way, either in childhood, or because of some special event in life. My special tree was a walnut tree in the yard of the house I grew up in. It was not even a full-grown tree at that time, but the trunk split at just the right height to make a perfect foothold for s child to climb the tree. 

I played games underneath the tree and climbed in its shady branches to sit among the leaves. I swung from a rather low branch and used it as a trapeze. Another branch was just right for a rope swing with a board for a seat. I spent many happy hours playing under the walnut tree.

I saw a story somewhere about an artist that sketches trees that have a special significance attached to them. He started by sketching a tree that was important to him, and as it turned out, it was also significant to other people who saw the drawing.

It seems that trees are important to a lot of people, so important that there is actually National Registry for Historic trees. These are not like my walnut tree, but trees that are landmarks or have historic importance. The Angel Oak of Charleston, S.C. is a beautiful old tree believed to be 1400 years old and the oldest living thing east of the Rockies.

Other trees are important because of events that happened near them, such as the dueling oaks of New Orleans, where sword fights occurred in the olden days. There are “hanging trees” near jails in Texas and New Mexico. Jacksonville, Florida has a famous old live oak tree where treaties were signed between settlers and the natives. Boston had a elm in colonial times known as the “Liberty Tree” due to its association with the American Revolution.

Some important trees are associated with or named after a special person. General Sherman, a giant Sequoia tree in California, is the world’s largest tree and 3,500 years old. Methuselah, a bristlecone pine in California, is believed to be the world’s oldest living organism at over 4,700 years old.

Some trees are so important they have a pedigree, such as two large Tulip Trees planted by George Washington at Mt. Vernon. Seeds from famous trees are actually gathered by an organization and sold so that you can buy them and plant a tree that is the actual offspring of a famous parent. Your backyard could become a living history story.

Trees are often taken for granted until they are gone. Elms were a popular shade tree at one time, but they were nearly wiped out by Dutch elm disease. Millions of firs have been lost in the Smoky Mountains due to imported insects that are toxic to the species. Many old trees are cut down to make way for roads and buildings. My walnut tree is now gone, a victim of urban development.

The National Registry of Big Trees enables anyone to nominate trees to be included in case you happen to have a piece of infamy growing in your yard. The trees in my yard are not worthy of national distinction. However, they are still special either because of who planted them or because of other associations. I have a plum tree, the lone survivor of four trees planted by my dad. My Jonathan apple tree was planted by my late husband to honor a grandson and is the same age.

I also have a large silver maple tree that the kids in the neighborhood seem to favor. Like my walnut tree, the trunk of the tree splits at just the right height for a child to be able to use it as a foothold for climbing.

Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss
Posted in Environment, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Showboat

3540148507_0cc213a1a0_bIt was more than we could resist. We had just been talking about how long it had been since we had been on a riverboat and how we need to get out and do something. Then an email came offering tickets at half price. Kind of makes you wonder about ESP, doesn’t it?

“It’s Chinese acrobats,” said the voice on the phone when I reserved tickets. “And dinner is Land & Sea.” Yes, I knew that. It was in the email.

The night came and we got dressed and drove over there. They have been doing construction on the road for years it seems. Will, they never get it finished? Between my honey’s aggressive driving and the crooked path between concrete barriers, I felt a bit like I’d been on a roller coaster by the time we arrived.

All we had to do was park and get on the boat. Park? Easier said than done. They just keep building things, shopping centers, theaters, and restaurants, all in a confined space with limited parking. We rode around and around until someone finally backed out and we swooped in and parked.

We stood in line to get aboard getting our picture made whether we wanted a picture or not. Once on the riverboat we thought things would get better. But it was hotter than … well, it was hot. For some odd reason, we were not allowed inside the theater until the boat left the dock and we stood in the sweltering heat, fighting the bees that buzzed around my coke.

At last we got inside out of the heat and our waiter introduced himself. Land & Sea turned out to be strong salmon and a small steak that appeared steamed instead of broiled. But I’m getting ahead of the story. The waiters paraded out with trays held high and began serving. We waited and waited. No food. Other people ate. We sat. Finally, we attracted someone’s attention and a different waitress brought our food. We still don’t know what happened to our waiter. We didn’t see him again until time for the tips.

The show started and the acrobats twirled, tumbled, climbed, contorted, juggled, balanced and all the strange things that acrobats do. Before he did his disappearing act, the waiter had pointed to the sign above the stage and said the entertainers would be that high up. We thought he was exaggerating, but they actually were with a feat involving stacking chairs higher and higher and balancing on top of them. Cheap seats were in the back, but I was glad we were far enough away to avoid acrobats falling in the middle of the table if they toppled over off the stage.

At least we didn’t have to sit with the Mafia this time. The last time we were there, we had some very strange folks at our table. I still think they were gangsters. This time, however, we sat with ordinary locals who were bringing some out of town guests. It’s a touristy sort of place. Come to think of it, the last time we were there we were taking out of town guests.

“How did you like it?” asked my honey afterwards.

“Well, except for the traffic, parking, food, heat, and waiting, it was fine.”

“That’s pretty much all there was to it,” he said.

Now I remember why it had been so long.

Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss
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