Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Reader Dear, what I've got is just a little Halloween Hullabaloo*

Walking home from school, my Little Actor, Tiny Actor and me,
oh, the sights we see!

But, wait a minute!  Is that a real pumpkin, that jack o' lantern with its frightful face? 

Ha!  It's a fake!  Not scary!

As for my Itty-bitty Actor:
It's dress rehearsal time, the little monkey!


And how about this, Viewer Dear?!  The spirit of Halloween past!
(Itty-bitty Actor's mama, decades ago!)

This morning my tea kettle, which is supposed to dutifully whistle for me, was giving a true Halloween shriek!


At the bank, I got to the door and realized, alas,  I would have to take off my mask before entering!


Furthermore, after leaving the bank,  I had to slow down for a hearse pulling onto the roadway ahead.  I followed the funeral procession all the way to a nearby graveyard.  Of course, I told myself,  folks are dying every day of the year! All ghosts and goblins and skeletons aside,  just because it's Halloween doesn't mean that, well, death's going to go on vacation.

When I drove slowly past this shop (following the hearse and the cars filled with mourners), I could hear these pumpkins hollering out to me.  

I'm not sure what they were saying.

But, here's what I'm going to say:
HAPPY HALLOWEEN, Dear Reader Dear! Enjoy your sugar buzz!

*Not really any hullabaloo whatsoever,
but I love the word,
and perhaps you do, too!
(Plus, it rhymes with boo)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Wagon Ride Continued, Viewer Dear

But there were two times when the wagon was nearly riderless:

"The horses may be spooked by this narrow bridge and the rushing water of the creek,"  said The Horse Man. 

Immediately, most of the passengers clamored to disembark and get themselves to the other side in relative safety.

And then there was a stop when we got to the conservancy (Yes, Reader Dear, we were on a road through lovely protected land where nature was on fine display!)  Most of the riders got off the wagon to take a short hike through the woods.

Too soon, of course,  the sun was heading down the sky; we were heading down the final hill;  the horses were heading toward their barn!

(Likewise, this tale is heading rapidly to its end. )



Or, ahem, THE ENDS
(It was four-and-six-year-old humor, Reader Dear.
Perhaps you had to be there!)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Flipping through fall photos,

Viewer Dear.

And, oh, ooooh...October!

The Yard Man (sometimes also known as Horse Man) hitched two of his mares to the wagon last Sunday evening and treated me and my Little Actor, Small Actor and Tiny Actor (plus a few of their agents) to a ride.  If you have an interest in clopping equine, fabulous fall weather, covered bridges, and idyllic countryside views ( complete with farm animals), then you, Viewer Dear, really should have been on that wagon!

Here's more:

Here is where we had a discussion about hunks of fluffy sugar in the sky.
"The sky looks like an army of marshmallows! The Small Actor declared.

Or, how about stacks of marshmallows in a marshmallow warehouse?

Marshmallows ready to drop into a lake of hot chocolate?

Marshmallows lined up to be roasted by the fiery light of the setting sun?

We noticed other persons taking advantage of this lovely evening,  like we were, by enjoying a ride!

But their ride was of a different sort; they didn't get to see the twin baby goats!

They may have said we were
missing the big picture, and it was true.

But, you see, we got to say
hello to lots and lots of  chickens, scrounging in the grass for their evening meal.

......Dear Viewer, this ride will be continued.
(i.e. this tale will be continued
[i.e. Viewer Dear, you're going to see more of these swishing tails!])

Monday, October 23, 2017

While we're on the subject

of cars, and car parts (and mine in particular), you should go to the tire shop with me, Dear Reader!

Well, it's true I've already been there, seeing as how my plumber friend noticed I had a bubble in one of my car tires and he suggested I go to this tire place where one can get a really good deal on new tires.
I had to drive up and down the road and search diligently for A & R Tire.  There was no big sign, not a lot of advertising (I believe that their business is boosted by positive word of mouth!)
 So, here's my positive word:  Wow!  When I finally found the place I simply pulled into the lot, wandered into the shop and asked about the chances of getting new tires.  I got a speedy estimate that sounded fair, and was told that, if I opted for the installation, twenty minutes later I'd be driving away with the new tires attached to the bottom of my car.  

That's all there was to it! Except for this:
When I first pulled into the parking lot, my mouth fell open at that gigantic tire I showed you earlier.  My goodness!  I thought.  A small family could live in that tire!  (I later revised my estimation to a roomy shelter for one).

And, then!  The place was like a museum.  I walked into the "shop" and stared in fascination at the "desk" (perhaps just a shelf, it was difficult to determine).  I wanted a museum description, an explanation of what I was seeing:  "This shelf has been used as a catchall desk for X number of decades.  Some of the papers have never been excavated from the layers of dirt and debris and may date to prehistoric times!"

(I spent my twenty minutes taking photos, and chortling over my good fortune at finding the place.
The bottom line was that I drove away with a good bottom line to my car! And a distinctly heightened desire to get the scrapes and scratches  on the side of my car expunged*]).

*Which, as I've told you in exquisite detail, is occurring.**

**And this late-breaking news: That car-repair deal is now done!***

***The car looks fantastic!  The End.

Friday, October 20, 2017

After a twenty-minute drive

out into the countryside, Carlos and Bob and I finally arrived at a sign that announced Bo's Body Shop Reader Dear, I was relieved! And then Carlos banged on Bo's door, and I was delighted to meet the car man himself!

Before attention was turned to the condition of my car, however, there was a lot of joking around to do, and it was clear that Carlos was looking forward to seeing Bo's collection of museum-piece cars, and showing them off to Bob and me!

"This one has its original paint!" he exclaimed about one of them (forgive me, Viewer Dear...I really should have taken notes*).

Carlos asked Bo to uncover one car after another, and I ohhed and ahhed in fascination!  Truly, Reader Dear, it was an interesting glimpse into the past!

There was an interesting glimpse into Bo's past, too.  He brushed aside the kudos when Carlos pointed out piles of award trophies stacked on shelves.  Seems that Bo is a talented snowmobile racer! He showed us a vintage  snowmobile which has served him well for years!

After the interesting tour of cars, Bo took a look at my scraped-up auto.  He did a few minutes of figuring and came up with a (terrific) estimate.  I yes-yes-oh-yessed it, and we made arrangements for bringing the car back after Bo ordered needed parts.

Reader Dear, all's well that ends well, they say.
However, "The end" is yet to be.  Ride the rental car along with me!

*Ruing the fact I didn't take more photos, as well.  Those cars were impressive!  Almost all of them were 60s-era vehicles (ergo: great big boat-sized cars! I couldn't imagine driving such an auto.  But, "Buy one!" Carlos urged.  "I'll be your chauffeur!")

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Okay! How about right now?! I asked.

(Dear Reader, I was on the phone with Carlos, my newly-established amigo, who had assured me that anytime today would work for him to escort me to the auto body shop of his friend.)

"Yes, yes.  I can be there soon, " Carlos replied. "Do you know where is the gas station--the Sheetz gas station at Brownstown? I can be there soon.  I will be there, and I will take you to my friend's shop.  It is not far, just a few minutes from the Sheetz station!) 

Thus we made the plan, but I was still uncertain as to the details.  I drove out to the Sheetz station and parked, unsure what to do next.  I did not see the white Lexus that Carlos had been driving the day before.  Was Carlos going to ride with me?!  Could I trust him? What if he had some nefarious plan in mind to...well, to do what?!  Steal my (slightly bunged-up) car?!  Kidnap me?!  (I am smiling, Dear Reader, because my hesitations seemed slightly ridiculous, even at the time!)

Just when I had reached the conclusion that I must have misunderstood the plan, I spotted a white Lexus pulling into the Sheetz parking lot.  "Hello!  Hello!"  Carlos greeted me joyfully.  He introduced me to his friend, Bob, who was riding in the car with him.  "Are you ready to go?" he asked.   ''It is just a few minutes away! Follow me!" 

I was relieved.

Off we went!

I must not lose sight of that car! I thought.  I was happy, Reader Dear, that it had a bike carrier on the back to distinguish it from other white cars.  (I'm pathetically auto-ID-insensitive).

Up the road we went (heading in a northern direction).  On and on.

On and on!

On and on!!

On and on!!!

Miles and miles later I was getting nervous. How far will I go?  I asked myself.  Am I going to follow this stranger all the way to Timbuktu?!

I pulled out my phone and called the man.

 (Reader Dear, Bob [his companion in the car] was laughing in the background!)
"We are almost there!" said Carlos on the phone.  "Just a few more minutes!"

Arrrgh! Really?!  I thought.
Where on earth am I going to end up?!

(to be continued)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

As luck might have it,

I may be getting a very good deal!
Reader Dear, I was at the bank last week.
It is a small, local bank with a small lobby.
The mass shooting had just occurred in California.
Another customer in the bank was remarking to the tellers about the occurrence, and all attention was focused on this man.  He appeared to be a very friendly guy.
As luck had it, I exited the bank just ahead of this fellow.
"Drive carefully!" he said to me as we walked out into the sunshine.
"Ha! Interesting you should give me that instruction," I laughed.  "Look at my car!"
I indicated which car was mine, and waved a hand at all the dings and scrapes ( Dear Reader, the damages involved three separate incident-slash-accidents.  These badges to creative-slash-careless driving were there for the world to see.  Only one-third of the disfigurement was due to the misconduct of others (a young driver backed into me at the mall.  It was pouring rain at the time.  My quick glance at the  damages did not serve me well [though I'm happy for her]).

Meanwhile, the fellow bank patron had introduced himself as Carlos.  "I know someone who can fix all this for you!" he exclaimed, looking at my bunged-up car.  "He will give you a very good deal!"
"He is a friend of mine!"  he added.

 "Great," I said.  "What's his name?  Can you give me his phone number?"

"I don't have the number with me," said Carlos, in his endearingly heavy accent.  "But you can call me tomorrow and I'll give you the number."

"Okay!  I'll do that!" was my response.

My thought, Dear Reader:  Hmm, this calls for caution, but...What do I have to lose?

Now Carlos, as I mentioned earlier, was super-friendly . We visited a while in the parking lot before going our separate ways, though when we parted he was still a virtual stranger.  I'm not sure I could have chosen him out of a line-up of other tall, handsome men of South American origin, but I did have his phone number.

I found the phone number where I'd scribbled it on a receipt in my wallet.
"Am I going to do this?" I asked myself.   I'd already gotten one estimate on repairing my car (from a standard auto-repair shop). It seemed outrageously high.

I called Carlos.
When I made the call, it was nearly noon.  Carlos picked up, and I explained that I was the woman he'd talked to in the bank parking lot the day before.  I was hoping to get the phone number for his car-repair friend.

"Oh! Hello!How are you?!" was Carlos' effusive response. 
"I can give you the number," he continued, "but this man, he can't hear you.  He doesn't answer his phone, because he can't hear.  I'll just take you there!  I'll take you to his house!  When do you want to go?"


My thought, Dear Reader: Hmm, this calls for caution, but...
What do I have to lose?

(to be continued)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Reception

Post-wedding, the wedding party and the wedding guests and the brand-new husband and wife adjourned to a separate tent where tables were set up for a buffet meal.

Fruit punch was served, along with cheese and pretzels as hors d'oeuvres.

The meal consisted of lasagna, homemade dinner rolls and two types of green lettuce salad.  Dessert, Reader Dear, was a pie counterpart to Wedding Cake.*

*There were several kinds.  All of them were round and sweet and celebratory, the perfect stand-in for cake.**

**Yummy, too.

A flower girl, she was my cross-the-table dinner partner.

While we ate dessert, there were surprises for the bride and groom--some singing, stories, and a poem from the sister of the bride.

Not only did that knot get tied, Reader Dear;
I'd say that it was formed into a lovely bow!


Monday, October 16, 2017

Wedding Day

The sun was shining on the wedding of Lorene and Owen!  It was a beautiful day for an outdoor wedding!  Viewer Dear, I barely knew the bride and had never met the groom, but The Yard Man had gotten to know the bride as a fellow employee at the food co-op where he works, and he looked forward to attending this wedding to which we'd been invited.

Inside the tent, I had a lucky seat on the aisle, so I could crane my neck to view the about-to-happen scenes and capture them for you!  Here are the groomsmen, awaiting their cue.

They were followed, naturally, by the bride's attendants.

who were followed (no surprise) by the one wearing white and smiling radiantly, on the arm of her father.

When the bride reached the front of the tent, she and the groom were seated on chairs (and, likewise, the entire wedding party was seated).  I was curious.  Turns out, the bride and groom are members of a religious sect that is prone toward lengthy marriage ceremonies.  The service lasted nearly an hour and a half!  But, I found it very fascinating.

And I enjoyed the antics of two other attendees (small ones) who were not so interested in the singing or the spoken words from the front, but occasionally passed the time sitting on the ground pulling up chunks of grass to toss at one another.

I counted many types of head coverings (six is the number, though I hesitate to tell you, Viewer Dear, as you may suspect I was letting my mind wander from the ceremony, and that would be a false assumption!)

From time to time, there was group singing.

Finally the service reached its ultimate conclusion--the tying of the knot!  The beautiful, glowing bride and the handsome groom promised to love, honor and cherish one another until death shall part them.  The minister pronounced them husband and wife.

I believe I had a great big smile on my face.
 The minister did not voice the words; but, "Now!" I thought, "Now you may kiss the bride!"

 And he did.

 (Reception to follow)