Monday, June 26, 2017

50th Reunion Report

I could tell 100 different anecdotes about this weekend, but the bottom line is that I am glad I went and had a good time. The last reunion I went to was 15 years ago and I had some trouble recognizing people. My class wasn't that big -- 167 people. Everyone seemed grateful to be there and really basking in these lifelong friendships.

There was a sense that we grew up in a really special place, which is true in a stable community so that many of us were classmates from kindergarten on. At one event, a teacher who taught third grade showed up and it must be a very strange experience to see your former third graders as senior citizens. I didn't have her, but my younger sister did and adored this teacher-- and that's pretty much how everyone felt about her.

I have such random memories of individual kids (that's what I still call them) and at Saturday's dinner, this kid who I was never friends with was at my table... but I did have this memory of him that he had this lunchbox while the rest of us (and the table agreed) had to carry our lunch in a paperbag. Believe it or not, he remembered this lunch box -- it was a Davy Crockett lunch box and old Davy was an iconic figure of our youth, including a tv show... and he said that it was even cooler than the lunchbox... his uncle was a furrier and made him a REAL Davy Crockett hat.

Anyway, I did have a great time!

Here's what one day old looks like...

This is Baby Lily, Mary's latest great niece who was born last night. Mother and baby doing fine.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Senior Prom

This is my niece from her senior prom... didn't have a date-date, but she went with a group of kids which somehow seems more sensible than the Noah's Ark scene we endured. There was a girl in my class whose date stood her up (somebody's cousin from out of town) for the junior prom and she showed up with her father who was a policeman and he wore his uniform and they had their photo taken as if they were a couple. You may disagree, but I think that was not a good idea.

So here's Charlotte on the left:

And the group:

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Celebraing Solstice

Barbara and I rang in the Solstice or whatever you do with it with a celebratory dinner of lobster rolls, "house-cut" fries and cole slaw. For some reason, it was especially good tonight and neither of us left a crumb.

So here's to a great summer.

On Friday, I'm going to my 50th high school reunion... I should have a few good stories from that.

Monday, June 19, 2017

History Lesson

Ate something that disagreed with me and was up for about two hours last night with multi-trips to the bathroom. Was telling Lane about it this morning and said, "At least I had a flush toilet. I always think of women who had to run to the outhouse or crouch over a chamber pot.." To which she replied, "Well what did they do for toilet paper?"

Silence and we both thought about that one...

An hour or so later, I received my history lesson from Lane...

Your misadventure did prompt me to research some of the history of toilet paper…

The greeks used pieces of stone and clay.

The Romans apparently used a sponge at the end of a stick — which was communally used by everyone. Yippee. Kept in a bucket of heavily salted seawater when not in use.

Earliest use of paper for the task was the chinese (of course) — 1391, the Emperor of the Song dynasty ordered 2’ x 3’ sheets of paper for his toilet purposes. But apparently, the Chinese before then were already using random sheets of paper.

Queen Elizabeth I’s godson invented the flush toilet in 1596, but not toilet paper to go with it.

In Colonial times here, the item of choice was corncobs. At some point, that switched to old magazines and newspapers. Apparently, the reason the Farmer’s Almanac had a hole in the upper left corner was so it could be hung in the outhouse after reading it, for “other uses.”

It wasn’t until 1857 that Joseph Gayety invented commercial toilet paper. “Gayety’s medicated paper" was available until the late 1920s, with his name watermarked on the sheets.

Imagine last night with clay, stones, or corn cobs. Makes the current set-up seem so civilized and comfy, doesn’t it?

Okay, school’s out for the day. Hope you feel better.

I have fully recovered thanks to a flush toilet and soft toilet paper.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mary's Hydrangeas

She's enjoying her new blooms this here. Here it's a rainy windy day -- really stormy.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Catching up with Price Increases

One area where I have not updated my mental image of what things cost is greeting cards. With the stupid and outrageous prices of greeting cards, I've taken to wrting notecards instead. But my niece is graduating from high school next week and today I asked Marilyn to buy a graduation card. I totally trust Marilyn with prices -- and, in fact, she has quite a knack for finding bargains for me -- but not with this card.

When she came back from errands, I looked at the card, which I really like, and it is something I'd pick out myself... It's a nice card, a big card, but it's not a musical card or something that has some amazing graphic or anything... When I flipped it over to look at the price, just out of curiosity, this darn card cost $5.79. Ridiculous. I said so to Marilyn, NOT in a blaming way to her but more of a I don't believe this, shaking my head way. She said that the price is in the mid-range -- there were cards more expensive than this one.

Anyway, I also had her buy a gift card for my niece and I told Marilyn that I have officially surrendered to gift cards... years ago, you'd give a high school grad a piece of jewelry or a fountain pen or something sentimental and permanent, but not these days. Oh well, it's easier to do the gift card.