One Day They’re Gone

From the moment people are born, there are other people around.  In the first years most often it is the same people, immediate family members or perhaps constant family friends.  They are probably not too clearly identified.  While they may not be too clearly identified, it is on a permanent basis.  And, each day they grow older, but it is not something that is noticeable.  Then there is some kind of getting out into the rest of the world with the likes of schooling.  There are then many new people around, but just for a while.  When the school year ends everyone is gone until a new school year begins. 

So, there are “permanent people” gradually changing with age, and temporary people who vanish for a while.  There are also temporary people who do not in some way resurface.  They pass through someone else’s life and keep going to wherever they are headed.  In an old folks’ home there’s a different aspect to a few such things.  Because it is a permanent-type of arrangement, it should be a collection of people who, while they are not family, are permanently in the lives around.  Only, in an old folks’ home people die off.  They’re around a while, like the school children, but once gone, it’s for always. 

The sometimes rapid turn over in the old folks’ home came seriously in view to yours truly when another resident said he was planning to move soon.  He is a relatively nice man that was counted as one of the personally positive spirits in the place, someone to speak to without thoughts of hard feelings behind any momentary pleasantness in a brief conversation.  Yes, the nice man is moving a distance away, meanwhile, two people who have been personally negative are quite well entrenched.  They aren’t moving.  They will be as readily around as they have been all along.  It’s the cheery soul that’s going. 

Loss can come many ways.  

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Grandma’s Back Yard, Cont’d

As described yesterday, grandma’s back yard had grass, flowers, fruit (grapes), a few vegetables and some other things. The grapes belonged to grandpa, who made wine from them.  The grape vines had little wispy things on them, possibly the ends of the vines, that were at times grabbed and chewed.  Bitter was the taste.  To this day the why or wherefore of it is not known.  In the very young age of yours truly, grandpa hung a swing from one of the cross rods holding the grape vines.  It was a nice, cool shady place for a little kid to sit (and maybe do some swinging, too) in view through the back door. 

While they lived, the back yard was also roaming area for cat and dog.  The dog was called Ginger and was reportedly grandpa’s dog.  It wasn’t a very big dog. Cat was grandma’s, kept for mouse hunting.  It seems like the cat (or maybe it was cats) was simply called cat; but, it did have kittens one of which was sent to Dayton “for the child.” Toby was a good pet that would sit up for treats and who figured out how to pull the screen door open to try to get into the house. The screen door was warped and a bottom corner had a space between it and the door frame with just enough room for a paw. 

At any rate, grandma’s back yard also had essentials such as the clothes line.  the laundry was done in the kitchen – the basement was more or less a hole in the ground with space for the furnace, so the only handy place to do laundry in a washing machine was in the kitchen.  The garage area was at the far end of the property.  Where the washing machine was kept isn’t known, but a guess would be in the collection of “things” on the enclosed back porch.  It wasn’t too far from the kitchen to the clothes line. The laundry had some interesting angles to be covered some other time. 

There are different ways of doing things.   

Patches Of Grass

Grandma’s house had a back yard that approached the unusual.  It wasn’t truly rare, just a little more involved than many.  One went out that rather dark back porch that has been previously mentioned as being enclosed and equipped with a bread box and down (as is recalled) a couple of steps to cement walk.  It had two directions.  One part went straight ahead to the garage area.  There was a part likewise from the back door that went toward the street and a gate in the picket fence.  Grandma had a picket fence from the house to the garage along the city sidewalk. 

One side of the walk from the back door to the gate (as has also been noted) had grass that could be seen from the kitchen window.  The area was shaded by the house on two sides; possibly nothing much else would grow there.  The other side of that little walk had a space set aside for growing some flowers of {now) unknown kinds, although most of the other side of that walk was grass. They were neither big flowers nor table flowers.  They were just a happy patch of colors, a different life. The clearly recalled flowers were blue irises planted by the street.  “Flags” is what the family called the irises. 

The main sidewalk, the one to the garage area, also had another side to it, and there Grandma kept a good and proper vegetable garden – parsley for Sunday soup, maybe some radishes and carrots….  Well, when the yard is dug up for a few vegetables and flowers, there is less grass to mow in addition to having a few things to eat and something pretty to observe if outside.  There was grass here and there and out in front of the house.  The extra thing in the back yard was that over the main sidewalk some pipes were strategically planted and on them, the length of the walk, was a grape arbor.  (More later.) 

There are many kinds of living things. 

Just Selling Blossoms

He stood there, they say, for twenty years in his somewhat lonely “spot” selling flowers.  “His place” was at a highway ramp from a downtown business district.  Logically, it was a relatively good spot.  People who worked downtown heading home far enough out to need a highway would pass him and maybe take some roses to someone to be remembered.  He was established as being there even if someone was headed another way.  Someone said he was a veteran.  It was also said he earned comparatively little with his flower business; but, income is income no matter what tax bracket. 

Well, the overhead isn’t much – a license to sell, two plastic buckets with water to keep the flowers fresh, money for the merchandise from whatever florist is a supplier and bus fare to get around.  If it doesn’t work, nothing much is a loss as unsold flowers can even be given to someone or just personally enjoyed if you come right down to it.  If it does work, one is free of the ever present loss of a job possibilities.  Evidently it worked adequately if he was there twenty or so years.  He was seen a couple of times by yours truly, once close, on the bus with his buckets of flowers. 

Someone drove up, demanded his money and shot him.  He did not give them his earnings.  Maybe he was still quick in movement as reportedly he was shot in the arm.  Although buildings were torn down to build the highway, making it an area short on people around apart from those driving, it is still near a city business district and the incident was robbers shooting people on the streets.  And, the town isn’t that big.  Nor is the open violence against those who are just ordinary people trying to live ordinary and humble lives.  The signs riding society are not good. 

Beautiful flowers are a gift of joy. 

Household Help

There was a time when there were youngsters in neighborhoods willing to do a few odd jobs like mow the grass for the old folks down the street or baby-sit for the young folks who wanted to go to a get together without children.  Maybe in some places there are such things; but, yours truly gave up hope one day when a thoughtless parent sent two elementary school children and a tiny infant in a stroller to mow grass.  Her fifteen year old had something she wanted to do, it was said.  The two that came were watching the baby (?).  They were sent back home.  Lawn mowers can be dangerous. 

Real life is most people cannot afford to hire a maid and/or gardener.  They can at times scrape up a few dollars to pay someone else to do things needed at a place.  And, there are agencies that will line up a collection of chores that run a few hours a week or even every two weeks.  These are a great help in old folks’ retirement settings and the like in the very rare moments when done right. And, one might really make that “very, very” rare moments. To begin with, few if any people really want to be the maid (or janitor). Never mind that if there is no one to do “the dirty work” civilization would collapse.  

The need for help may very well be essential and unavoidable, not a matter of luxury, and the money paid may be quite legitimate and rather sacrificial.   That really makes little difference to the person doing the work, especially if it’s done on a “have to” basis.  The chances are things aren’t going to be done as hoped or expected.  Assuming a person can find someone at all, there are ins and outs that can be said beyond that above, but one important thing to note is there are some places more than others where there is a chance of getting a piece of the action, and that’s the likes of the old folks’ homes. 

Do it yourself can’t always be. 

Royalty

Royal titles (king, queen, etc.) imply superiority; but, the jobs the people do are normally administrative.  They just happen to be lifetime jobs handed down to descendants largely because ownership of land is often involved.  When those who established the United States dumped the notion of royalty, the idea was things like getting rid of the permanence in the authority.  Someone does have to run things, be a directive voice or some such thing, so administration still is a part of everything.  It’s just that every so often someone else takes over for a while and likewise assumes responsibility for whatever. 

Sadly, a lot of people would like to be royalty.  It may be simply a wish to have other people do all the work necessary to maintain ordinary living.  Or, it might also be a wish to be important or at least worthwhile (that is, meriting some of the attention of others around).  One doesn’t have to be a royal for that, but a few people might think that guarantees it.  At any rate, it’s such a wishful thing that practically every school that has a homecoming has a temporary queen if not a king as well.  And, other things have them too, including costume parties where it’s nothing but costume. 

Recent news included some rather shocking stuff about a royal prince visiting another country who, while there, rather viciously murdered a servant.  He was tried and convicted, with the authorities explaining that in that country royalty was also subject to the laws of the land.  The prince is expected to go to jail.  Apart from what is surely some embarrassment to the rest of his family, it is a cause to think about such inherited positions.  The wisdom of the founders of the U. S. has been evident in other ways as well, but that doesn’t do much in regard to those who promote homecoming queens. 

It’s best to keep some things. 

Good Fortune And Bad

Someone most recently observed that October this year has five full weekends (Friday evening as well as all day Saturday and Sunday). He then told everyone around even though more than half of the month is gone.  And, thus yours truly became fully aware that October had five full weekends.  It was realized that there were five Fridays last Friday. The food truck comes every other Friday, and no catalogue for November was handed over.  A look at the calendar explained why, namely, he’s coming one more time in October.  It’s supposedly rare that such a thing as five weekends happens. 

At any rate, October, 2010, not only had the magic numbers of 10/10/10 but it has five weekends, which might be a special value to anyone who pays a bill on the first of the month.  There are only two more chances for any such thing as the numbers to happen soon, one each in November of 2011 and December of 2012.  Then things exactly like that won’t happen again for nearly ninety years.  How soon the weekends will happen again wasn’t determined yet.  Of course, it’s a matter of magic (or lucky) numbers, so magic (or lucky) days, but only if things are lined up in certain ways. 

It doesn’t take a lot to find all sorts of ominous or fatalistic things in numbers, things and even words, some good fortune, some dire warnings, and so forth. There is a good thing in fishing out such unusual aspects.  It breaks up the monotony.  It may also do something like cause dreadful accidents.  Someone terrified of the prospects of something bad happening just might have bad happenings as a result.  So, a question might be, should society make a big issue out of such things?  Should references to Friday, the Thirteenth, et al, be abolished?  If so, how? 

Rabbits have four feet.