Someone was complaining the other day about having to check out their own items at the store. I told them they should better acquaint themselves with the scan codes because the Swedes are using bar codes on their ships now. These days when a Swedish ship approaches the harbor they can just scan-da-navy-in.

Gardener friends have been showing pictures of flowers on Facebook these days. Some of us, we have found, are proud to display our “naked ladies” not knowing the official name for the plant. Karen Bjornebo Larsen of Gayville, who yust might have some Scandahoovian in her lineage, said that some older, shall we say, more experienced gardeners had referred to these flowers as “resurrection” plants.

That moniker is quite appropriate, as the many thin leaves of the plants come up and flourish in the spring but seem to wilt in the summer heat and just dissipate and disappear. Yet when we get a good late July or early August rain, one steps into the garden to find the two-foot tall flowers waving proudly at us, having just appeared overnight providing a most present surprise.

My bulbs came from our Mom’s flower bed. One lady stopped at her house on 19th and Burleigh about 20 years ago and asked about those tall blossoms. Mom said, “They are naked ladies.” The other lady asked if Mom would sell the bulbs and Mom blurted out, “$40 each” and Mom was astounded when the lady said she wanted three.

As someone who had delivered well-scrubbed eggs for 25 cents a dozen and had scrubbed floors all over town, Mom got her spade from the garage and filled the order in quick time.

Mom died over 10 years ago. She would be 103 this Oct. 15. Her “look-alike,” her younger sister, Mary Donovan Buckman, lives at Majestic Bluffs and will be 101 Christmas Eve.

• This writer would like to send his appreciation to Karen Hochstein of Hartington for an excellent letter to the editor in the P&D a couple weeks ago, and to Becky Frank of Lesterville who penned a peace-and-love missal to the P&D Aug. 5. Some letter writers remind me of that young woman, who, apparently wronged in love, used to sing a country-western ballad, “I just wanna be mad a little while longer.”

• Although she was nearing 90, our Mom never did get into the habit of eating her noon lunch at The Center. She said it was just for “old people” whatever that meant.

So, at 81 and having lost my wife, I decided to begin to have dinner at The Center last December. It was fun to go about 10 a.m., have a cup of coffee and a roll and visit with people. Where else can you dine for $3.75? At one of our first meals, one of the ladies complained that the potatoes were not quite done.

Forever living up to our maternal grandmother Viola Donovan‘s observation that “Jim must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle,” I reminded them of what my mother would have said, “If you don’t like the damn potatoes, you cook ‘em tomorrow.” That is how I developed my culinary talents which came in handy when Kathy became ill.

There were few critiques of the food after that but we did agree that some meals were better than others. I was not the only one who did not like salmon loaf although the cook told me she had a recipe of her dad’s that dressed the salmon and it did help quite a bit.   

Now The Center is closed but the August membership bulletin explained that the majority of the governing board members are still living in their basement, like Joe Biden, worried about COVID-19.

Meanwhile restaurants all over town are busy and few patrons wear masks.

But the majority of the board members at The Center want to open with the stipulation that “at least 20 individuals commit to dining with us and of course be willing to follow our COVID protection guidelines:

“We will follow CDC guidelines including wearing masks (we have them available for you), sanitizing/washing hands, taking temperature and filling out a compliance form when you enter the building.

“Tables will be spread apart six feet with a limit of 3 per table. Meals will be delivered to your table. When dining, you should attempt to eat your meal in 15-20 minutes and leave the building.

“If enough interest, we will plan to serve a hot home cooked meal every Monday and Wednesday. Intentions must be conveyed by Aug. 17.

Here is mine — this is damn sad so just count me out! Reminds me of our granddaughter. Kathy used to remind Jenny to wash her hands before leaving the bathroom and, as a little girl, would often come to gramma or grampa to smell her hands to make sure she had complied. I ain’t gonna. I just wanna be mad a little while longer — and eat someplace else without all the grief.

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