Bingo (2007)

Friday night has arrived, and the nachos have been ordered. For some reason or another I cannot play bingo without them. Maybe it’s the crunch that makes the occasion, I don’t know. Not with the peppers added though. I’m a mild nacho kind of eater. Heard they are good for the sinuses, but can’t stand the tongue burn in the meantime.

My fee has been paid, and I’ve got my sheets lined up for the game. Of course, I’ve got my favorite colored blotters out, or as I call them, my bingo stampers, to get the job done. They come in so many colors. The shiny ones are especially nice. I prefer the purple ones myself.

You have to have some strong nerves in order to play bingo, especially during the blackout game. As it gets closer to the end, you just know that you are going to win. At least you think that you are going to win. It gets closer and closer. You’re down to three numbers left, and then two, and then one. Each time they call another number, you know that yours will be next and you pray that no one else is going to get their last number that is needed. Where they get these other numbers, I’ll never know. They just seem to appear out of the woodwork.

The room is so tense you could slice it with a knife, and then boom….You hear someone holler bingo. You’re glad for them while at the same time hoping that they made a mistake. Surely they marked a number that was not called and then you could just go on. Not so! The game is over and you hang it all up…..at least until the next bingo night.

And the next bingo night, they do come. I generally play on Friday nights, but if I happen to pop in on Thursday, I’ll see many of the same faces. These people are like family. Week after week we pack up our bingo stuff, and know that we will see each other again soon.

My grandmother used to play bingo, and loved every minute of it. And oh, by the way…Bingo is not just the elderly crowd. There are quite a few of the younger ones playing too. Of course younger to me nowadays means under 40, so you know what I mean.

Bingo is a national pastime…so I was not surprised when I saw that on Friday nights, ABC was showing a National Bingo Night. You could download you some cards, and off you went. The best part was that if you happened to win, you’d have until Monday to cash in your card. It was kind of hard to watch the national bingo show while out physically playing bingo, but on the other hand, with modern technology, I would assume that it is possible.

As long as we didn’t holler bingo for the game show, in the middle of the live bingo playing, we were okay. The national bingo game went off the air, but of course, I still have my in person bingo game to go to. The nachos are the main reason that I go. The ladies in the kitchen give it their special touch.

“Let the numbers flow-
Until I can holler bingo.”
-2007-

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Modern Mother Goose-On The Loose (Barnabas Collins)

There was a time when we couldn’t wait to get home from school. Of course, we were not unusual, for all children yearn for that moment, but this was for a special occasion. Dark Shadows would come on about that time. To miss it, well, would be bad. No goofing around, on the walk home from school, but a mad dash.

A soap opera for teens, it what it was. Day to day, week to week, and on Fridays we would be left hanging. We’d have to wait the whole weekend, to see what would happen next.

Barnabas Collins was the vampire that we all loved. In normal circumstances, we might be afraid, but we would all root for Barnabas. The idea of him being found out, could not happen. We waited for him to leave his coffin, so that we could watch him walk among the living, until the sun came up.

I hadn’t thought about Dark Shadows in a long time. Years ago, I re-watched and enjoyed it. There are some things that just stick with you. The recent passing of  Jonathan Frid, brought the flood of memories back. Gee, he was 87 years old. I can still see him roaming around Colinswood. In the show he lived there a long time ago, came back, and to his fans, he is still there.

There have been vampires before Barnabas, and plenty of them after, but, he is the one that I fondly remember. The cape the cane, the picture of the “ancestor” on the wall. A time when all things could not be explained, and we loved them anyway.

Mystery, was the key word, which also reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock. Of course, that would be another story. I saw the picture of Sir Anthony Hopkins, who will be playing the master of suspense. I’m just like that kid that cannot wait to get home from school, except this time it will be after work. My seat at the theater is already reserved. Just have to dig up the patience, to wait, until the movie is released.

It looks like no matter how old we get, it is always a wonder to have something to look forward to. “Good Evening”, has just been added to the list.

“A fond farewell to bid-

To our favorite vampire, Barnabas Collins aka Jonathan Frid.”

-2012-

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Slow That Time Down (2015)

It’s hard to believe that summer is about here. It’s also hard to believe the fact that we are already in June. One has to

ask that same old question about where did the first half of the year go?

.

It wasn’t that long ago when we celebrated the New Year. Valentine’s Day flew by, and so did Easter, and the rest

of the holidays. Spring break passed, the graduations are over, and now school is out.

.

I’ve always felt that the older we get, the faster the year flies, but it has gotten totally out of control. I do say this in fun,

But really and truly it is not so fun after all. I am not prepared to put up my Christmas decorations. Yes, it is six months

away, but the way things are going, we’ll suddenly be there.

.

As we get older we look for those long lazy day summers. The ones we spent in our childhood. Perhaps it is only doled

out to the young. If only there was some way to capture those moments. They say that you’re only as old as you want to

be, so maybe going backwards might do the trick.

.

Cloud watching or playing a board game might do the trick. A thousand piece puzzle would be a change. Chalk might be the

answer. The sidewalk could be decorated in the midst of a hopscotch pattern.

.

A quick trek up a tree would really bring one back. On the other hand, the neighbors might begin to wonder what is going

on. Seeing their longtime neighbor suddenly up a tree, would not bring back any youth or time stalling for them. They might

assume that some form of help is needed.

.

So maybe there are other ways to slow down the time. In the meantime I might as well enjoy day today, no matter how

quickly it passes.

.

“To cause a stir-

Regarding that quickly passing calendar.”

-2015-

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Pigeons Are Not The Same As Fish (2014)

If you would have asked me years ago, if I’d be interested in a pigeon, as a pet, I would have given you a blank stare.

I would have assumed that you were joking. I’ve personally always thought of birds, in the same category as fish. Beautiful to look at, while self contained emotionally.

I know that if I owned a large aquarium filled with fish, and when I arrived home, the fish would not be diving up and down, in the water to greet me. I used to feel that way about pigeons, until I inherited one.

When I arrive home from work, and as soon as I unlock the door, I hear the flapping of wings. There is also the jumping up and down, from a stick, in the cage, to the bottom floor.

When I take my pigeon out of the cage, he’ll walk around a bit, and then he’ll come over, to where I am typing, and then sit on my shoe. It’s obvious that all of  that flapping and jumping up and down is not just a freedom dance. There is a bit of affection going on here, for he could continue his walking, but chooses to connect with me.

If pigeons weren’t so messy, I’d keep Tweetie out of his cage, all of the time. He does come out, on a regular basis though, and I can tell when I hold him up close, and rub his ears, that he is in seventh Heaven.

“At home this bird is the word-

And yes, my heart has been captured and stirred.”

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Compulsive Shopping (2003)

While waiting in the grocery store checkout line the other day, my eye happened to catch a bag of mini chocolate candies. Of course the candy wasn’t on my list, but as I reached over to grab a bag and put it in my basket, a kind gentleman behind me said, “now that is what they call impulse shopping.”

I knew that he was right and I had to reply, “they stick this stuff here so that the kids will ask for it,” adding “even if they’re not with you at the moment.”

Obviously it is for us grown shoppers too, because even though I happened to mention the kids, they had not been brought to the store this time, and they were no where in the vicinity.

Every once in a while you’ll see certain things screaming out at you when you pass it in the aisle too. It’s not on your list and you promised yourself that you wouldn’t add anything else, but then all of a sudden it looks just too appealing to pass up.

You suddenly make excuses like, well it’s just one extra thing or I meant to add those things to my list.

Impulse buying can be fun. Let’s face it, there are too many things in our lives that we can afford to do compulsively. (Although there are some of us who spend a lifetime at it.) So an extra thing here or there at the grocery store isn’t going to make a difference. At least not until we get to the checkout counter.

Didn’t we leave the kids behind so that we would stay within our budget? Didn’t we say we’d stick to only what is on the list? Of course we did. The most ironic thing about impulse buying is that after we get home to fish through all those things that we impulsively bought, it turns out that we forgot to get one of the main things on the list that we went to the store for to begin with.

Could it be that some of that impulsive shopping distracted us or put us off track? Of course not.

We have more willpower and stamina than that. At least until the next shopping trip comes along.

“Eating a hot dog
without the forgotten
bun-
Can be done but is not
quite as fun!”

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Trucked Watermelon (2008)

 

As a child, during the summertime, I can remember riding down the road, and seeing watermelons, on the back of a truck. A lot of times we’d stop and pick us out a nice long juicy one.

The watermelons appeared to be longer back in those days, than the ones that I see in the grocery stores nowadays. I’ve often wondered whatever happened to the the longer versions. The ones I see are so short. They do fit in the refrigerator better though.

Anyway we’d stop on the road and pick out the longest one, and then we’d take it home and eat it, out in the backyard. It would be cut into pieces, and we’d all get our share on a piece of newspaper, that was used as a big napkin. Salted down, the fruit was a favorite of ours. We’d take big bites and spit the seeds out in between.

My favorite thing to do, as I got older, was to scoop out the watermelon, and put it in a nice square container, so that it would be not only handy to eat, but it was also convenient to store in the refrigerator. Any size watermelon takes up a lot of space.

My grandmother came to visit, and I sent her home with a nice sized bowl of watermelon that I’d already picked the seeds out . She had to compliment me and say, “now that is service”!

Although times have changed, the love of watermelon certainly hasn’t. I see kids all over the place enjoying a piece of that red interior, green exterior
stuff.

There is one thing that will be changing though, and that is the problem of how to fit one in the frig without having to take all the extra care. The Japanese have developed a nice square one. I just wonder how long it will be before everyone has one nicely stacked in their refrigerator. I know that there will be many watermelons sported on the Fourth of July. No matter what shape or size, or where they come from, it’s just the American way.

“And so the truck that holds the watermelons will never change-
Except for the fact of the fruit being easier to rearrange!”

-2008-

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Scared Me (2003)

All of us at one time or another are frightened of something. The real pinpointed time in our lives to feel this way is when we are young. We just don’t have the capacity to tell the difference between what is real and what isn’t.

When I was a child I saw the movie called The Nightwalker starring Ray Milland. It was a simple murder mystery that would seem silly nowadays, but the blind man that he played along with the sound of his cane coming down the hall scared the dickens out of me.

A friend of mine claims the movie called Elephant Walk. I’ve seen the movie and it does have an eerie ring to it. She was about four years old at the time so an eerie ring to it would have to be multiplied ten times over. A plantation type house had been built over an elephant walk and needless to say eventually the elephants took back their trail, with the house along with it.

I thought of her recently when I read a story out of Bangkok, Thailand. Obviously the elephants there have overrun the concrete city. The elephants are like pets that have been in some families for many years. Many are also used by their handlers to make money in one form or another, but now they have received their marching orders to move to another area with a little greenery that they all deserve.

The traffic and the elephants just don’t mix. The elephants can be injured and the heat due to no trees is not good for their health either.

I guess that the people there are used to seeing the huge animals. I could just imagine how cities in the United States would react to a large elephant roaming the streets. We’d have to call out the National Guard to take care of that type of problem, Not to mention the problem of a pooper scooper. The amount of that particular type of mess would be unbelievable.

I know that when the circus comes people line up to get some natural fertilizer for their gardens from these huge beasts, but they are confined and not running the streets.

A severe case of elephant rage would occur if one of these animals were to step out on one of our freeways. Not only would it cause a traffic snarl, but it would also be a major source of pollution even if they weren’t going over the speed limit.

Conservationists are glad for the elephant ban and hope that it will end the flourishing business of capturing and renting calves for begging and selling. The larger ones should thin out as they are brought back to where they should be, unless their memories serve them differently. I detect a part two in there somewhere. One that I know my friend wouldn’t go to see.

“In childhood the foundations are laid-
In what or of whom we might be afraid!”

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