Family Problems #303 –4/19/2016

“The Government that governs best…. governs the least.”  Thomas Jefferson

Drivel Over Coffee, the blog; musings, memories and whatnot infused with the earthy aroma of French Roast Coffee. Welcome everyone. Say “Hi” to daughter Debby. She is joining me this morning to add some much needed energy to my weekly slog through the blog. We inevitably go totally off-script; wandering into everything perennials, landscaping, the dog world, arts & crafts and everything in between.

Musings – I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks, so I wondered what Chinese mothers use. Toothpicks?

If 4 out of 5 people SUFFER from diarrhea…does that mean that one out of five enjoys it?

Talking about clams. Have you ever heard someone state that they are “Happy as a Clam”? How happy is a clam? Why are they happy anyway? Ever seen a sad clam? Do clams smile? Curiosity got me so I did a little research. The term actually evolved from the 19th century phrase: “happy as a clam in high water.” The idea being clams were completely safe from predators (and humans) if they were fully immersed in water at high tide. High tide was also a time when they were most likely to find food. It was popularized by a poem “Sonnet to a Clam” by John G. Saxe in the late 1840s and has been in the vernacular ever since. Darn poets will write about anything.

Memories – Growing up on an Iowa farm influenced me my whole life. The lessons I learned have shaped and molded me into the person I am today. In my case, most of the learned lessons were learned the hard way. I think back on those days often times amazed that I even survived. I was not timid and seemed to thrive on all things daring. Like many kids those days, I had a peddle car. Now on a farm where cement is a rare thing, a peddle car does not make a whole lot of sense. What with gravel and dirt clods everywhere for you to run into. One of the gray hairs that I gave my mom was with the peddle car. In those days, hay was baled in rectangular bales bound with either wire or twine. My dad stored his hay in a huge hay stack next to the corn crib. It was probably 15 rows high. The ends were staggered sort like a stair step. One day I decided it would be a great challenge to see if I could ride the peddle car down the hay stack ending right side up. I’m certain this idea stemmed from the time I rode my tricycle down the stairs in the house. That’s another gray hair story.

For safeties sake I put on my football helmet (made out of thick paper board). I was all of seven or eight at this moment. I dragged that peddle car up the hay stack with considerable effort. It took quite a while but I made it. On the top, I caught my breath, adjusted my helmet, and climbed into the peddle car. I briefly noted that it seemed like I was a long way off the ground. That thought did not connect with the alarm bells in my brain however. Never was there a thought about the consequences, just the thrill of doing it. A couple of quick pushes on the peddles and down I go. Bumpity bump, bumpity bump. The nose of car hit each bale and bounced. About halfway down the thought of my impending doom reached the alarm bells in my brain but it was too late. As you may have guessed, I hit the ground in a heap. As we say in Iowa, I landed jelly-side down. Nothing was broken except the elastic chin strap on the helmet but I was bloodied. My nose stuck out the ear hole. Somehow I got myself upside down with my head resting on the peddles and the car on top of me. Naturally, off to the house I ran for mom to work her magic on my wounds. She was good with iodine and band aids.

Whatnots– I have been unhappy with my current wife’s mood swings, so I bought her a mood ring the other day so I would be able to monitor her moods. We’ve discovered that when she’s in a good mood, it turns green. When she’s in a bad mood, it leaves a big red mark on my darn forehead. Maybe next time I’ll buy her a diamond.

I had a doctor’s appointment three weeks ago. During the exam, I mention to the doctor that I was worried about my wife’s temper. I showed him the mark on my forehead. The doctor asks, “What’s the problem?” I explain, “Doctor, I don’t know what to do. Every day my wife seems to lose her temper for no reason. It scares me.” The doctor says to me, “I have a cure for that. When it seems that your wife is getting angry, just take a glass of water and start swishing it in your mouth. Just swish and swish but don’t swallow it until she either leaves the room or calms down.” Last week, I went back to the doctor. I was feeling great; looking fresh and reborn. I tell the doctor, “Doctor, that was a brilliant idea! Every time my wife started losing it, I swished with water. I swished and swished, and she calmed right down! How does a glass of water do that?” The doctor says, “The water itself does nothing. It’s keeping your mouth shut that does the trick.”

I thought all my troubles were finally over between the two of us. My current wife came home, screeching her car into the driveway, and ran into the house. She slammed the door and shouted excitedly, “Honey, pack your bags, I won the Lottery!” I said, “Oh my God! I am as happy as a clam. What should I pack, beach stuff or mountain stuff?” Doesn’t matter,” she said, “Just get the hell out.” Should have known – she never calls me “Honey”.

A blonde in a car drives down a dirt road, and sees another blonde in a plowed field in a row boat just going to town, paddling with all of her might…the blonde stops the car and gets out and SCREAMS “you’re the reason we blondes get a bad rap, and if I could swim. I would come out there and kick your butt!

Not everyone who lost his life in Vietnam died there. Not everyone who came home from Vietnam ever left there. If I can make at least one-person smile, or laugh till they leak, then my day was not wasted. Until we meet again -TA!