These past winter months, I noticed unusual bits and pieces in my daily life. My knees and sometimes my elbows ache. Some mornings my shoulder blade feels like it is on fire.
I told my husband one morning and he said simply, “Oh, it’s probably arthritis.”
“What?” I said. “My much older sister suffers from arthritis…not me.”
“So what’s your point?” He said with a smile.
I have noticed since last winter that my body has shifted. I have discovered a couple more changes. My hips are getting wider and higher.
I’m being obsessed with my hands. I examine my arms for liver spots. I’m afraid my hands will suddenly look like my great aunt Mona’s. Her hands looked like chopped corn flakes attached to flabby arms.
In the office yesterday, I noticed my toes were doing this strange curl up and spasm. I had to stop, remove my shoe and massage my toes and ankle.
I had a case of spring fever so I went shopping. Standing in front of the dressing room mirror I discovered a couple more changes. I think I’m looking more and more like a peanut covered M & M.
I left, stopping by the local fast food restaurant. Perhaps the afternoon out would do the trick to lift my spirits.
Then it happened suddenly, with no warning whatever! I was minding my own business in the food lane, waiting at the counter for my fries when it happened. The “M” word.
“Here’s your change, Ma’am!” chirped some freckle-face kid who didn’t look old enough to count change, let alone have a job.
For more years than she cares to admit, my neighbor Jan, has slipped into a lacy blouse, ruffled skirt, and frilly petticoat to Do-si-do her partner, then promenade.
She rarely misses square dances. Dancing is a big part of her life. She loads up the car and travels throughout the USA with her square dance partner . . . her hubby.
Square dancing is a type of American folk dancing performed by groups of four or more couples. The couples may dance in a square formation or in a circle. They follow the directions of a caller, who calls out different movements and patterns.
Popular calls include the ‘weave the ring’ or ‘swing your partner’ and ‘for a star’. Main stream square dancing includes more than 100 different calls. All this is done to music provided by fiddles, banjos or guitars.
If you are intimidated by the outfits square dancers wear, you can relax. Some people come in their street clothes, but part of the fun for Jan is dressing up. Women often wear ruffled underwear under wide petticoats and full skirts. The men put on western shirts, sometimes with scarves or bolo ties. Yes, she has multiple pairs of cowboy boots.
A night out dancing usually doesn’t cost anymore than five dollars a person to get into the dance. Square dancers come in all ages from 9 to 90.
“You don’t have to be a dancer to square dance,” she tells me as she tried to convince me to join. Me? I can occasionally confuse my left hand with my right foot
“It’s just good clean fun,” Jan says. “If you can listen and walk fast you can square dance.”
Listen and walk fast? This leaves the blonde lady with dark roots unable to promenade let alone Do-Si-Do.
Christmas begins early. The week before Thanksgiving, boxes are carried down from the attic. Boxes and more boxes filled with generations of memories. My sister once told me “You never can decorate a Christmas tree right. Why is your garland going up and down when it is obviously needs to be wrapped in circles around the tree?”
Where are the rules to decorating a Christmas tree? No two homes decorated for the holidays look alike.
My neighbor in Colonial springs has a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, but she has not one set of Christmas lights on the tree. Red ribbons, red ornament balls, and red bows fill each branch of the tree.
There is a Christmas tree on the south side that has the old fashion bubble lights. More than one tree in Greenwood has miniature blinking lights. There is a tree in Villa Heights with only blue lights. In Oak Meadow there is a house with the larger lights that do not blink at all.
My cousin in New Mexico has a train that runs underneath his Christmas Tree. He placed plywood beneath the Christmas tree skirt. When the Christmas lights are on the train runs continually around and around underneath the tree. He must position each wrapped gift just so or it might derail the train.
In my parents’ home you will find a traditional tree trimmed with pretty heirloom ornaments. Children’s ornaments made at school or church decorates the tree. Saving these treasures to display each year shows visitors how special and wonderful their artwork is to the entire family.
I decorate for the holidays in a haphazard way. I have no master plan when it comes to the Christmas tree. I set a day for family gathering and make it an event. I serve an informal supper and have a tree-trimming party. It is a wonderful way to get some holiday decorating accomplished and have fun at the same time. I keep a pot of soup on the stove and give each one of my nephew’s two boxes of ornaments. We don’t get to eat until the tree is finished.
My husband brings the Christmas boxes down from the attic and my nephews come over to help me decorate the tree. Regardless of my sister’s opinion, once again my garland will be placed in an up and down direction.
One of my nephews did let it slip that his mom can’t understand why I decorate a pine tree when everyone knows it should be a spruce tree.
Just where is this book on Christmas tree rules anyway?
Notice all the houses decorated for Christmas before Thanksgiving Day?
In Mission Hills subdivision there is a turkey made from a bale of hay. Driving around town you see more than one cement goose lawn ornament dressed as a Pilgrim. In Colonial Springs there is a Minnie Mouse statue dressed as Pocahontas.
Early in the week you could hear the leaf blowers throughout the different neighborhoods. Streets were lined with piles of leaves waiting on city crews.
Yes at our house we opted to get ahead of the bad weather and decorate the outside lights. Although we will NOT turn the lights on until it gets closer to Christmas, it was easier to string the lights along the eaves when our fingers weren’t so cold.
There is a house on Smith Valley Road that has Christmas lights up and lit for display the day after Halloween. I’m afraid if we start with the Christmas decorations in October we might tire of them by December.
But then again there is a house in Northern Park that has their holidays up already….simply because they have never taken them down all year.
It is difficult to get in the Christmas spirit still munching Halloween candy.
Roller blades, also called in-line skates, are an increasingly popular summer activity for families. So I agreed to give them a try. “It’s a great way to get around and a fun way to exercise,” Ann said. “If I can do it, anybody can.” I wondered, would it be that easy to learn?
The cost and quality of in-line skates varies dramatically from store to store. You can get generic-looking skates for $30 to $60, while sports shops sell brand name rollerblades starting at $100 and up.
Basically, you get what you pay for. When you get the more expensive ones, you get a better grade of bearing, and it’s got a better grade of carriage underneath. Everything is better quality and lasts longer.
I was satisfied buying a discount pair. Fashion isn’t a main concern. I wear wrist, elbow and knee pads.
It’s Saturday afternoon: Ann and Nancee, two cousins, are skating around Northeast Elementary School in Greenwood. I will admit that I scooted around the parking lot until I gained confidence. At first the knees were shaky but my spirit soared.
Learning to control the brake was the most difficult part for me. I still don’t have the knack of speed and brake. It’s more like speed and spin to stop.
I did question what I would feel the first time I saw the pavement coming to meet me. Much to my surprise I got up faster than I thought I would. I was having too much fun not to.
Now I can say it. Roller blades are not for everyone, but yes if I can do it anyone can.
Construction of birdhouses and bird feeders can be as simple or as complex as you wish to make it. Bird feeders can look like tiny bungalows, wooden A-frames or miniature chalets. Bird houses need no ornamentation to serve the birds using them, but an attractive design can enhance a yard. Thus, the custom built bird feeders are for the person filling them not for the birds.
My neighbor has two wood salad bowls with a wooden rod through the center. The house across the street has a large glass hanging feeder.
A feeder could be attached to any window. It will bring the bird up close for an exciting view. The tube bird feeder, found in any variety store, could be fun. One neighbor has a bird feeder made from old car license plates.
My nephew made an egg carton bird feeder in school. My Aunt Hilda has bird houses made out of gourds hanging off of her porch. My grandmother has a rustic barn creation bird feeder that has painted on the top, “See Rock City.”
Building a bird house can be purely practical or absolutely outrageous. In Greenwood I have found bird house and feeders built to resemble a gazebo, a church, a log cabin, a totem-like housing complex, a pagoda, a school house, even a little outhouse! It was a one-holer of a different sort.
Would the blue jays, sparrows, starlings or finches that visit the feeder in my yard be more excited if I had a little deck for the feathered guests to stand on? I think not.
Bird feeder and houses are designed to bring pleasure for you and benefit our feathered friends. Where is it written that I have to build a fanciful birdhouse? It doesn’t seem to matter to the birds.
Mix together my plain and simple looking bird feeder with bird seed and it looks like a scene from the movie The Birds in the back yard. Works for me.
Have you noticed all the different signs around town? True, more than one sign is strictly advertisements — periodically they are interesting.
One can’t help but notice the flashing neon sign on Madison near the Greenwood Shopping Mall. More than a few letters are gone. It blinks “quor” instead of advertising the establishment sells Liquor.
Did you happen to see the portable marquee sign on Meridian? “Tina, I love you – please come back.” I wonder what ever happened to Tina.
The canopy sign outside of Fazoli’s advertised: All you “care to eat for $2.99”. I took my nephews and couldn’t help but notice they took the sign down the next day.
Within a few blocks of the Shopping Mall, there is a deer crossing sign. True, plenty of deer cross a highway causing more than one accident. But honestly, have you ever seen a deer cross at where the signs are?
More than a few banks have electronic signs giving the date, time and temperature. However; when it is 93 degrees outside, who needs to read a sign to know it’s hot.
There is a stop sign on Main Street in Greenwood that obviously doesn’t mean stop. More often than not when the cars come up to the street they roll right through. I got a ticket there once. Now I stop.
By far my favorite sign is the billboard on I-65. As you head south toward Columbus you can’t miss it. “Tattoos While You Wait” Well, I would certainly hope so.