Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Red-faced at the Market

Last Saturday was the penultimate market days for our great Farmers' Market in Kent. Sally and I went down  to buy stuff and enjoy the ambiance. At this point, there is still a lot of produce available. I wanted some fresh lettuce from a particular stand which has the best, even this late in the season. That's the first place I started and I bought a lovely head of Boston lettuce. Then I went to the goat cheese stand just opposite the lettuce lady's place. I sampled a bit, which was delicious. Then I reached in my pocket for my wallet, only to discover that it was gone! I had just arrived, and hadn't moved more than 4 feet. I looked around, Sally looked around. I could not imagine that anyone there would have picked it up and walked away with it.  I wandered down to where that day's musicians were entertaining the crowd and asked it I could use the mike for an announcement. They kindly ceded the mike and I plaintively asked that if anyone found it, would they please turn it in to the director's table. Soon I had all these people helping me, asking at each vendor's stand if they had seen it. All I could think of was having to call the bank, the credit card company, Macy's (where I had planned to go after the market to take advantage of their one day extravaganza sale - 50% off on select items!!) and the 50 bucks  in the wallet with no way to get more because my debit card would be gone. We decided that we'd better go home and start calling. I had left my purse in the trunk, so Sally got it out and there was my wallet inside. I had totally forgotten that I had taken 20 bucks and put it in the pocket of the jacket I was wearing. I had forgotten that completely and instead of putting my wallet in my pocket I had just put the money in it. When I had reached into my pocket for the not there wallet, I hadn't dug down deep enough to feel the change from that twenty, so I didn't remember that at all. Sally went to the  market director's table to tell her, and to announce that it had been found, and I felt like a total  fool. All I could think of is that they would put it down to my being a fuzzy headed old person whose memory was slipping. I reason that it was one of those things that a person does without, and that I probably would have done the same thing when I was 44 instead of 84. So Saturday is the last day and I'm thinking I will just stay away.
And then I had been asked to write a letter to the editor in support of the library levy for the local library, which I hardly ever use because put up this new building which looks as if it was designed by someone who flunked out of the Architecture School of Stalinist Russia in 1947 (a bad year for architecture everywhere), the interior of which is also badly laid out. I wrote what I thought was a very nice letter, but when it appeared I realized that either their proofreader had goofed or I had (probably the latter) and instead of "100 years of library use" it read "100 tears". I admit that I am a terrible typist, really awful, and I am also not a very good proofreader either, as Emily and Sally are only too eager  to tell me.  But anyway, that's twice I have embarrassed myself publicly this week-end. One more time and I may have to change my  name and relocate.
But I did get to Macy's great sale and bought two jackets for the price of one; one for Sally and one for me.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Faded Leaves

For some reason, this fall has not produced the usual brilliant,t colorful foliage which I look forward to every October. I noticed this on that geezer bus tour last week. We were about 45 miles south of here, and most of the trees were already bare. The ones which were not bare  had dull, faded colors. In my neighborhood, most of the trees are still green. The two maples in front of my house are usually a glowing golden color by now, filling my  living room with the warm tinge of buttery yellow. We have had a lot of rain, record amounts, in fact, which usually keeps the trees green longer, but the hues now  are the kind you get when there's been a drought. Even the brilliant red maple at the cider mill, the most photographed autumn tree in Portage County  is just a muted, washed out looking shade of plum instead of the flaming scarlet that makes people bring their cameras  when they come for cider. I have not had a chance to go through the golden tunnel of the maples out on Lake Rockwell road, so I don;t know if they  are suffering from the same problem as the other trees around here, whatever that may be. My friend in nearby Hudson tells me that the trees in her neighborhood are lovely and colorful, but then, everything in Hudson is lovely, being upscale and all. Even the trees know their role in the overall scheme of a perfect Western Reserve town.
Below is  a picture from the past of the golden tunnel.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Geezer Bus Tour

Since this is my favorite season for going on a bit of a ramble, and since I can't drive any more, I went on a bus tour last week to one of my favorite places, Hanoverton. It is now a pretty small town, but it was built along the Sandy and Beaver canal back in the early 19th century. Unfortunately, the canal was never completed down the line, and it was pretty much abandoned. It looks like 18th century Philadelphia or Boston, with brick row houses. I believe that some of the earliest settlers were Quakers. When I first went there, many years ago, there was nothing much there and many of the houses were in pretty bad shape. The houses have since been restored, and there is the Spread Eagle Tavern, a tourist draw, and one of our destinations on this tour. It's a fine place for lunch. It's been beautifully restored, and is also an inn. One of the problems for me, however, is that the owner has decorated the public rooms with pictures of himself with the likes of Reagan and George Bush. I took Harriet down there for lunch once and told  her that she was not allowed to comment until we got back in the car. I took another friend there, another fire breathing liberal, and told her the same thing. It's hard for us not to draw moustaches  on pictures like that, but so far, we have held back and enjoyed the food and the non-conservative decor. Most of the buildings in the town are on the National Historic Register.
It is a conservative area. Clement Vallandingham, the leader of the Copperheads, lived in nearby Lisbon which was also home to the Apple Farm, a commune which hoped to improve the human species by breeding super men and women. It didn't last long, since, while there was a plenitude of male volunteers for the experiment, there was a reluctance on the part of females to participate. But I digress.
We made a brief stop at the Hanoverton cemetery for some feeble ghost stories  by some not very good storytellers. One was dressed as a Confederate soldier, who professed that the war was about states' rights, not slavery. He was obviously a Copperhead. The other was supposed to be a town character and he stumbled through some tale, supposedly true, about a witch who really wasn't one, even though she put a spell on a family and they all died.  Since it was a gray and windy day, this could have been a pretty good experience. The cemetery is old and full of spooky tress, but these tellers just weren't up to it.
Out final stop was a tour of Stonegate, a pseudo Tudor castle. It turned out to be a place I had read about a few years ago, which this guy built because he'd always wanted to live in the past. John had done a seminar there once on stone masonry; the guy had wanted to hold classes there in various areas of historic handicrafts, but nothing came of it. Now he does these tours in October and his wife teaches stained glass classes. They built the house of used materials from demolished buildings. They got the stone and a lot of the wood from the property and picked up some remarkable things from trash piles and dumps: windows, furniture, beams from old barns, lamps, etc, They learned how to plane wood, plaster walls, carve stone and wood and generally taught themselves all sorts of crafts. They got slate from a torn down church and learned how to do the roof. They designed Gothic doors for the three car garage, where they presumably keep their donkey cart. It took them 33 years to do all this and it is impressive, I must say. It's also a bit tacky in spots, and it seemed pretty gloomy on this gray day. He's a self made man, happy in his isolated castle. John said that he owns a large pizza franchise, but I didn't see any pizza oven in the Gothic kitchen.
We had earlier stopped at an apple orchard, where we had cider and doughnuts and I bought some really fine apples, Honey Crisps, that John made into a pie last night in our 1950s kitchen. I enjoyed the geezer tour, but I do miss driving to places like Hanoverton.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Macaw Meets Mole

Had lunch yesterday with three women from my aerobics class. We met at a favorite Twin Lakes tavern, with lovely autumnal views of the lake, reflecting colorful tress on the other side. The specialty there is a wall-eye sandwich, which we all ordered. We started talking about times we'd been there before. Berry, who is a retired beautician and scuba dive,r recounted a true life tale of horror and hilarity. It seems that one of the women from the salon where she worked was getting married, and they decided to take her there for a pre-wedding party. They ate, they drank, and the bride-to-be especially drank and drank. This tavern had a pet yellow macaw. The tipsy bride decided that she wanted that macaw to sit on her shoulder. Now this lady also had on her cheek a large, dark mole. The macaw was brought to her table and set down on her shoulder. Mistaking the mole for a large, brown seed, it promptly began to snack. Screams ensued. Blood flowed. Most of the mole dangled from the curved. Don't know if the bird was smiling.
The bird was returned to its perch. The victim declined to go to the ER, since she did not want to appear there in her inebriated condition, perhaps before a waiting room possibly containing people who might know her.  Betty, who is always prepared, had with her 1.) scissors, 2.)NewSkin and 3.)Bandaids, requisite tools of the thoughtful hairdresser and scuba diver. (She told us that NewSkin is perfect for the odd accidental ear snip while cutting hair. I did not know that. I have never had my ear snipped while getting my hair cut. Who knew?) The wounded was taken to the ladies' room and Betty stanched the blood, and performed quick surgery, snipping off the remains of the loose mole, applying NewSkin (which is antiseptic) and the Bandaid. As the now mole-less bride-to-be was escorted out by her friends one of them remarked, "I guess you'll be canceling the dove release at the wedding now?"

Post Script: The next day the woman went to the doctor who did some further cleaning up, and it healed scarlessly in time for the wedding.