I Sure Hope Stupidity Isn’t Contagious!

A dragon is holding onto the tail of a red cloth.

ÖŽ  The other day as I changed into my yard working clothes, I donned my wireless earbuds and attached my iPod to my belt so I could listen to my current book on tape, “The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermathâ€.  Instead of securing the iPod to my belt, I decided to just attach it to the part that extends past the latch.  Then out the door I go, headed toward the shed to startup my yard vacuum and complete the compacting of the remaining leaves left over from our bitter winter months.  I’m a couple of hours into the book, busily sucking in leaves destined for destruction when suddenly, my earbuds went silent!  I thought that perhaps I had accidentally mashed the “Pause†button on my headset so I pushed the button to resume the narration and nothing happened.  I looked down at my belt to retrieve the iPod and it was missing!  Quickly glancing around and not finding it the realization swept over me that it had fallen off my belt and been sucked into the yardvac.  Unavoidably, it was now broken into a million pieces.  Sometimes I forget what stupidity feels like, but then something like this happens and I quickly remember.  As it spread across my body, I could only stand there and let it work its magic.  At my age I thought I had used up all my “stupid momentsâ€, but alas, I can discard that idea. Shortly after it happened I told my wife about it, half-way expecting some type of criticism, but she smiled softly and let it pass.  I guess she could see the shame in my face.  Reminds me of the quote by Chanakya, “Books are as useful to a stupid person as a mirror is useful to a blind person.â€

“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” – Carl Sandburg

ÖŽ I believe Carl has hit upon something with that quote. As a younger man I felt as though I had an inexhaustible supply of days left, and I spent a lot of them unwisely. I guess I still do. I watch way too much TV and, truth be known, I spend too much time setting at my desk staring at the computer. I think we have to be careful about what we consider wasteful. Time spent doing things you enjoy are a plus and should be pursued at every opportunity.

A good example of this is my wife’s iron went on the fritz the other day and she asked me to take a look at it to see if it could be fixed. I said I would, so off to my workshop I headed with the dread of taking this thing apart and, probably, never getting it fully reassembled. It didn’t take me long to spot the problem and before long I handed it to her and said that I thought it was ready for use. Was that time well spent? I think so. My wife was pleased to have her old trusty iron back, and I enjoyed the look on her face as I handed it to her. It seems that one of my many quests in this life is to see the expression on her face that says, “I love youâ€. Any amount of time I spend doing that is never time not well spent.

ÖŽ Well, today (4/26/18) I awoke with a big smile on my face. As it happens, I get to help a very important person in my life celebrate her 79th birthday.  I have known Mary since I was sixteen.  I started dating her sister (Mae) and would see her each time I went to their house.  She was a high school senior, and I was a sophomore.  Mary eventually married my mother’s brother (KD, and we became even closer.  She has been part of my life for 61 years, and I treasure her as a close friend. Sadly, she has developed Alzheimer’s, as did her sister & dad, and is in the thick of the battle, but she still has a hearty laugh and is pleasant to talk to.  So, it is with pleasure in my heart that I visit with her today and help her celebrate 79 spins around the sun on this wonderful planet. “Do not protect yourself by a fence, but rather by your friends.†…Czech Proverb

😊  I read an article the other day about the dirtiest things you can touch in a hotel/motel room:  1.  Remote control for the TV; 2. Bed comforter; 3. Lamp light switch.  Since we travel often, I felt that was something we should be aware of.  The article went on to say that the employees that clean your room have about 30 minutes to do so because they have 10-12 rooms to clean daily.  Furthermore, there are hundreds of people who slept there before we arrived and each one of them left something for us to transfer to our bodies.  Kinda makes me want to sleep in the car.  I’m fairly certain my wife will have handi-wipes available to sanitize our room in the future.  Whenever we eat out we always strive to sanitize our hands after touching door handles and the menu.  In all probability, most of the germs are already present on our bodies, but there is always the possibility they aren’t.  I still believe in the old saying by Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.â€

ÖŽ My old friend from high school (Hubert) passed away on Friday (4/27) and he will be missed.  He valiantly fought cancer for two years and what amazed me was his ability to retain his sense of humor.  He often had a smile on his face and spoke of the afterlife as if he were ready for it. When we t visited him in November he said to me, “Tommy, I never sang in our church choir because I couldn’t carry a note, but when I get to heaven I will sing like an angel.† His family is devastated but are relieved the battle is over and he is without pain.

Willie Nelson has a song about death that says, “It’s not something you get over, it’s something you get thru, when life is over it lives in someone new.† My message to Hubert, “Sing away old friend, I’ll be listeningâ€.

ÖŽ The last few days have been kinda stressful because I have been working on our efforts to downsize and move to a retirement community.  We anticipate it will be a year or two before we move, but that’s a good thing in that it allows us to use that time to give things away, sell things, and haul things to the trash dump.  Most of what I was surveying were old electronic items that went all the way back to the early 1980’s.  Although I wasn’t aware of it, seems I never throw anything away.  I would pick up an item and instantly I could remember using it.  I guess the point I’m getting at is that I would be hard put to justify the time I spend on all things electronic.  It has been said there is a fine line between a hobby and an addiction.  I believe it is an addiction when you do that thing you enjoy so much while other things await your attention and are ignored.  To me, it is important to stay active doing a variety of things that are necessary and, hopefully, also interesting.  Leonardo da Vinci said so wisely, “Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.”

I hope that wherever you live on this wonderful planet, you are safe from harm, secure in a happy life, and that you have enjoyed the view from “My window on The Worldâ€.  If you get a chance, drop me a line.

“To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart.†…Phyllis Theroux