Sunday, September 30, 2012


Whenever I worry about my life and if I am good enough and how things will turn out for me, I remember all the great people in my life.  Either my family is comprised of the most fabulous people ever or I can't be all that rotten, or both.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

No Thanks

Last week a friend offered to give me a vase worth over $1000.00.  Yes me.  In my entire life, I never thought I would have an opportunity to own a work of art that valuable.  It was an Italian vase of turquoise and white.  When I picked it up, it was exquisite, expensive, and breakable.

You know me, if I ever had an extra 1000 bucks it would go to retirement, an upgrade on my mountain bike. a new sewing machine,  ultimate rain gear for hiking, or something else that you use.  Imagine me with an Italian work of art in that price range!  I couldn't imagine it, so I declined her generous offer.

First of all, the vase  didn't correlate with the colors of my home.  Although for a few seconds, I did consider re-painting.  Second, in my wildest imagination, I can't see myself gifting to my friend anything of similar value since she seems to have little interest in my hiking, biking, or camping gear. Since giving up my firstborn child was not an option,  I was uncomfortable with feeling a sense of obligation for such an expensive gift. Thirdly, I really hate dusting. I try to keep ornaments to minimum for that reason.

Finally, how would I ever protect something as valuable as that?  Imagine the horror of brushing by an end table one day to see a vase worth over a thousand smackeroos fall to the floor and shatter into over a thousand glass shards?  What soothing remark could I make when one of my grandchildren's parents brought me the pieces of the thing in a garbage sack?  There is no doubt in my mind that a vase worth over a thousand bucks is just the kind of doodad that would attract the consistent, persevering attention of whichever grandchild happened to be two years old.   Without a doubt, a vase of this value would be my grandson's first pick as a container for nerf bullets.  Experience leads me to believe that my granddaughters would use it for hauling water to their pretend tea parties if they didn't decide to put their rubber bands, hair clips, and pretend make-up in it first.

Protection of such a valuable work of art is a problem too dicey for me too solve.  I would either have to rent a safety deposit box at the bank or forbid entry to anyone under 35.  Somehow, spending my extra time going to the bank to admire a beautiful vase seems burdensome.

Whew.  What a close call.  Someone almost gave me a vase worth over a $1000.00. 

Sunday, September 09, 2012

When Ignorance Is Not Bliss

I have two Californians staying at my house.  I say, "I am not going to tell anyone how to do their laundry, but in warm weather I hang all my clothes out on the line."

Their interpretation: "Welcome to Montana, a backward place peopled with the ignorant. In addition to hanging your laundry on the line, I expect you to haul all your water from the creek and cook your meals over a campfire."

What is so outrageous about hanging clothes on the line for Pete's sake?  In hot weather the clothes dry faster than the dryer.  I think the clothes are cleaner since the ultra-violet rays kill bacteria and viruses. Also, whites are whiter and the clothes smell wonderful.  My friend from Audubon assures me a dryer is one of the biggest energy hogs in the house, so drying on the line should result in considerable monetary and energy savings. And who wouldn't want to spend time outside in beautiful weather hanging out freshly laundered clothes and linens?

Since many Americans from big cities seem to hold all things European in adoration, maybe I should mention that many, if not most, Europeans dry their clothes in a similar manner.  Perhaps I'm just an ignorant hick, but the sophisticates fascination with Europe is lost on me.  Genealogical research reveals that my ancestors started fleeing Europe in 1607.  A circumstance for which my forefathers have earned my eternal gratitude.

After I ventured mentioning the clothes line as a laundry-drying method, I had the misfortune to hear from a newly married young lady who has just moved here from Maryland/Washington D.C.  She is still reeling from the terrible shock of moving so far away from her city home.  She has described her consternation publicly a number of times in testimony meetings and other gatherings. I gather moving to Montana was comparable to moving to a cave in Tibet or a hut on the Andean Plateau. In RS today she informed us all how surprised she was to find normal people and mammals other than cows living here.

I am considering discussing my visit to Washington D.C. with this young one. Following her notion of polite remarks to make residents of our area, I thought I would begin with: "When I planned my trip to D.C., I was sure the entire city was comprised of drug dealers, prostitutes, corrupt politicians, and gangs.  I was so surprised to find that normal people lived there."  No doubt D.C. dwellers would be delighted to hear such observations from someone who had just moved to their city.

Yes there are some ignorant people around, but when it comes to good manners most Montanans could profitably instruct these particular city folks.