• David

Clearing My Inner Calendar

Updated: Apr 15

For more years than I have fingers and toes, I have written a New Year’s Greeting for the purpose of evacuating my brain of the damaging plaque that has built up since my last bulk dumping of thoughts. Then I buy a great gob of stamps and send these thoughts away to my friends. That way, I can start my new year with a relatively clean slate, and I don’t have to cart all this garbage around in my head, year after year, decade upon decade. And isn’t that what friends are for? Bulk used thought storage? I’m quite sure I heard that in a song somewhere. But since I’ve also heard that ‘many hands make light the load’, I decided it would be better to dump these thoughts in a shallower layer, over a wider area, and onto the readers of my blog. I think this should work out great, and lighten the load for the few! Nobody has to read my blog, so if they do, they are kind of asking for it. They could have just said “NO”.


So with that disclosure, here is your share of my annual New Year’s brain dumping:


Quilt in oranges and purple bands
Baby quilt made by Tori for new grand daughter

’Tis the time to come clean as to why I send our Christmas and New Year’s greetings after Christmas has come and gone. You see, the thing is, I don’t look at the calendar. I figure out what day it is by observing subtle changes in the world around me, like an old cow elk, but with shorter, cauliflower ears. If Tori wants to go to Baker, I know it’s a Tuesday or Wednesday. Maybe a Thursday. And it’s sometime between March and January. (We both turn yellow and hibernate for the month of February.) If she is racing around getting dressed up spiffy, it’s a school day. If she’s still in bed at 7:15, it’s probably a Saturday. If I get my TheWeek Magazine, it is definitely a Saturday, or it ought to be.


In order for a calendar to mean anything, you have to already know what day it is. If you know what day it is, why are you looking at a damned calendar. I have enough trouble getting anything done without standing around staring at the days rolling by. I don’t get it. (You may be shocked to hear that there are other things I don’t get, and was never meant to get. Like how they wind up Ramen noodles, for instance, or why I have toenails.)


heavy snow on trees an bushes with overhang from roof
Pear tree is out there!

But this year, the thing that got my attention that Christmas was dangerously near was the quartet of calling birds. I saw the three French hens, didn’t think much about them. I steered neatly around them. I could tell by their feather hats they were French. And yes, I saw the two

turtle doves, but that is the ordinary way doves come. In twos. The pear tree is out back, and there is quite a bit of snow on the ground, so I’d have to go out of my way to see if there is a partridge in it. I assume there is. But these damned calling birds!!


“Hi! This is Robin, with AARP. I’m calling to invite you to a teleconference on sagging neck skin.” “Hi this is Raven! I’m calling to let you know that your extended warrantee on your Snip-o-matic toenail clippers is about to expire.” “Hi, this is Phoebe, calling to inform you that your discount two-night stay at the Boring, Oregon Lowbrow Inn is only good until this Friday.” “HI, THIS IS WESTERN SCREECH OWL, CALLING TO INVITE YOU TO A FREE WORKSHOP FOR THE HEARING IMPAIRED!”


It’s got to be the fourth day of Christmas! I know my Christmas carols. So now all I have to figure out is when the “Christmas days” start….before Christmas, after Christmas, or is it a combination thereof? I guess it doesn’t matter. I’m okay with the ladies dancing, swans a-swimming. Geese are fine as long as they are a-laying. Not a fan of attack geese (geese a-tacking). But the best case scenario, with my keyboard skills, is that I won’t be done writing this little rant until we are hip-deep in Lords-a-leaping!


Good Lord! It is going to be an absolute cacophony around here! It’s easy to forget that on the fifth day of Christmas, along with the five golden rings, you get another four calling birds! Another three French hens, and it doesn’t get any better as it goes along! By the twelfth day, I’m going to have had 36 damned calling birds, calling about who knows what, not to mention 30 French hens and quite a lot of other various foul. I’m going to have 40 maids a-milking, and I’m assuming there will be cows with them. Mooers mooing. 30 Lords a-leaping! One of them is a-plenty! There will be 22 Pipers piping, or as we know them in today’s parlance, plumbers plumbing, (or is it rotos rooting). No wonder septic problems always come at Christmastime. This is a lot of company! Are the pipers causing this, or here to fix it? I guess it’s a which-came-first thing; The geese or the eggs?


I guess I’ve gone and done the thinkable. Digressed. Again. Just like my last thirty Christmas rants. I expect you are used to it. On task now, 2021 got off on the wrong foot, and never quite got itself righted. It had its moments of yeariness along with a good helping of weariness. We got caught up on family and friends, a bit, compared to 2020, and that was great! Just lately, we find ourselves sort of stuck in a time warp, going another round with the ever-popular Covid. This time, “omicron”, oh my! Hopefully we will all fare well and prosper. This brings me to the real point of my rant! I hope you all fared well and did this prosper thing, and that you can do it again in the new year!


I may not ever know what day it is, but I know that this is the year to get things going in a better direction. We need to fix some things around here. Now! Or at least by the time the maids are done a-milking. If the plumbers come a-plumbing again in 2022, dammit, they didn’t get it done right, and it will be high time that somebody asks the simple question: “Just what the hell did you fix the last time, and was it really fixed, as your invoice implied? Or were you out back a-dancing with the ladies, and a-billing us as if you were a-fixing the toilet?”


Yup. I’ve about had it with a lot of things, and I know I’m not alone. I’m pretty sure the twelve drummers could a-drum to their little heart’s content, and never drown out this awful political squawking. But I guess I can just burrow in here in Halfway, and as long as I can use my left hand to shield the sore-loser flags flying from my neighbor’s roof, I can use my right hand to wave my goodwill.


piles of onions with greens tops on
onion harvest drying

But things are good, if you can ignore the things. We had lots of nice produce to eat, and lots of nice gatherings of friends and family, and we didn’t go broke, again. Tori made a very sweet rock path in our yard, and we dug a deep hole to burry the bodies of anybody that won’t shut up about politics. (Tori says the hole is for a pond.) (I expect it’s for me.)


We became proud new grandparents of a baby girl, and she’s a keeper. She looks nothing like that plastic action figure, popular in the 80’s, called “Skeletor”, that the ultrasound images made her out to resemble. Nor does she look like she should be named Larva, as our son had dubbed her in the womb. Tori says she was born the 4th of January. My cow elk sense is that she was born sometime recently, and that it is time to eat.


I’ve tried to make clear to “the kids” that it is a very narrow window in which they get to share with us all of the daily pooping and peeing news regarding the baby, before we, the grandparents, reach an age of sharing our own toilet details with them. If it turns out Metamucil goes perfectly well with gin, they are going to be hearing about it. If it turns out it doesn’t, they’ll hear about that.


Anyway, we hope that you have all had a fulfilling year, and that this season finds you happy and healthy. We move on, here at the Lying SOB Ranch. Swans keep a-swimming, but the pipers have piped down. Whether or not we have five golden rings, we have a-plenty.


Hope you had a Merry Christmas and have a Hap-Happy New Year! I expect we will, except for February of course, which we will spend under a damp log, burrowed into the mud. Like salamanders. Hiding from the lords a-leaping until they tire of this nonsense.

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