June 2016

5 articles in June 2016

My wife was annoyed with me the other day. I was sent to my closet to get rid of items that I no longer wore. These included t-shirts, sweat-shirts, pants, jeans, shorts, hats, and every other thing I have covered my body with, for the past 50 or so years.

H.G. Wells should have known, that if one could find a time-machine in this universe, all one had to do was look in an old man’s closet. As always, my wife was right. When I opened my closet it looked like it was filled with a solid block of multi-colored cloth. There was not a space either hanging or on the shelf that could fit another item. How the shelf didn’t fall, because of the massive weight of sweatshirts and sweaters, is above and beyond my comprehension.

Shoes and old worn-out sneakers covered the floor of the closet that I assumed had a rug over it. I assumed this because there was a possibility that the shoes could have been on top of even older sweaters. I decided to start at the top and work my way down.  When I reached and grabbed what I thought was a single sweatshirt the entire contents of the shelf came tumbling down. How I survived the avalanche is above and beyond my comprehension. Continue Reading →

I am now retired, so what do I do? I have to admit it’s a strange feeling. I’ve worked full time since I was 15. It wasn’t legal to hold a job at 15 but back then one had to. I am now 67, which means I’ve been working for 52 years.

I think this is the reason why I am upset with Governor LePage of Maine when he described the large percentage of people on government support in the State of Maine. He included those of us on social security. I am not on government support. I am getting some of the money I paid out for 52 years.

Advice, opinions, and suggestions came days before I retired from people who have already retired and from people who have not retired yet but knew of people who had retired. To put it in a nutshell everyone advised me to stay active and basically not retire.

This made little sense to me because I was under the concept that one wanted to retire and thus have some time to do things they didn’t have time to do before. I was also warned retirement meant the beginning of poor health because I wouldn’t be moving as much as I did when I worked. I was also cautioned to keep my mind active and multi-task as much as possible to keep my mind vigorous. This particular warning unnerved me the most. Continue Reading →

They say that all things are relative but the time-span and areas they are related to can cause problems. In my case too many of the ‘old days’ could not be described as ‘Good’.

World War 2 against Germany was declared a few months before my fifth birthday and the area of the south coast of England, where I lived, soon became affected. I can remember my infants/primary school lessons being interupted by air-raid sirens and having to go outside to the former playground which had been filled with a number of corrugated-steel shelters.

Once inside them, we settled on the hard wooden benches, lit a candle and tried to read our lesson books until the all-clear alarm sounded. Too often this process happened more than once a day and became unsettling to some. Looking back, I realise that, even with the covering of turf on the shelter, a falling bomb would still have blown us to pieces.

In fact, this was soon realised by my father who had served in the Royal Horse Artillery in WW1. After being woken one night by the Air-raid alarm, we slept the rest of the night in the shelter installed in our back garden. Next morning he decided that, if we were bombed, it would be better to die in our warm home than spend too many of our nights in the freezing cold, useless ‘shelter’. It wasn’t wasted though, as it soon became a place to grow mushrooms and keep our home-grown vegetables and fruit. Continue Reading →

Now that I am retired, memories of when I had a definite purpose started to amuse me. One included being part of the many thousands of meetings I attended during my last 30 years of teaching.

There I sat with about twelve colleagues around an oval table discussing specific strategies concerning educational issues. The meeting was moving along at a crisp rate but it was also getting a bit late. Because the time allotted for the meeting had run out my principal asked when we could meet again to continue our discussions.

At this point everyone around me pulled out their cell phones whose job it was to inject times and dates into its tiny but powerful hard drive. All of a sudden everyone looked toward me. I think it was because I was the only one of the group who didn’t have a cell phone in front of me.

At first I was surprised but that surprise evolved into shock the second I clearly understood everyone was waiting for me to put something on the table. Since I had nothing to show all I could do was pull out my wallet, open it up, and take out an old receipt that somehow found it way into my wallet. Continue Reading →

Aall I remember was seeing white. In a panic I jumped out of bed wondering if I had just been attacked by the largest piece of lint known to mankind. It turned out to be my cat who decided to see if I was still alive by sitting on my face.

When one’s day starts out like this it usually means there are a few planets lined up in a way that makes the day go a bit odd. I am now a fervent believer in this hypothesis. The day was supposed to be a happy and busy one. We were going to a wedding in Massachusetts and had to be ready to leave by midday. Since it was only 7am my wife and I knew we had plenty of time. She basically planned everything.

All I had to do was survive waking up. Earlier that month she bought me a brand new summer suit. The old one I had was from my first communion. She also bought me a new shirt and tie. At the time she asked me to try it on but since I was a bit too comfortable in my combination pajamas, bathing suit, and shorts I told her I would do it another day. I had a pair of shoes dating back to the disco era but since what comes around goes around these were once again in style.

My wife also bought a beautiful outfit for herself. I think she had hopes we would be the best looking there. I knew she had a chance but as for me, well, reality does what reality is. Around 10:00 we decided to get ready for the wedding. After my wife laid my new suit and shirt on the bed she asked me to be careful. I asked her what I could possibly do to destroy a suit by putting it on. She just gave me a look and I quickly admitted precedence had been set.

Continue Reading →