Showing posts with label walking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label walking. Show all posts

Saturday, March 19, 2016

One a Penny two a penny

Only a week until Easter so begins again my annual hunt for authentic hot cross buns, which apparently have gone out of fashion like so many things of memory. I remember this Mother Goose rhyme : 
Hot-cross buns!  Hot-cross buns!
One a penny, two a penny, Hot-cross buns!
If you have no daughters, Give them to your sons;
One a penny, two a penny, Hot-cross buns!
Wikipedia says "The earliest record of the rhyme is in Christmas Box, published in London in 1798.[1] However, there are earlier references to the rhyme as a street cry in London, for example in Poor Robin's Almanack for 1733,"  


Imagine that, a child in the 1950's grows up reciting a poem from the 1700's and remembers it today in 2016.  As I ponder many things of the past, I wonder, am I getting that old that I think back more and more?  Perhaps.    Here in  the tenuous Minnesota spring time weather which can bring sun one day and dust with snow overnight as t did last night I wonder about all sorts of things.  From my Facebook morning posting, two photos a week apart. 
Back deck with new bistro set covered, snow
dusting overnight March 19, 2016

Back deck Bistro set covered with tarp as Jerry insisted
March 11, 2016, to my protest, he cautioned, "It will
still have some winter weather could have snow." He was
right of course, I go for the sun as my long rooted in  California mind is fooled once again
 I like to go outdoors for a  walk of 4-5 miles, adopting the habit of young European mom's I saw in Germany and Austria who put their kiddies in strollers and off they push around town for a mid day breath of fresh air.  Good for the soul to be out there, as friend Lisa says. We live in a lovely small town that is very amenable to walking, so I can easily cover those miles.  If I want to stay closer to home I can trot 1/4 mile down the street to the high school quarter mile track where round and round I go getting in a few miles easily.  


The other day walking, I thought about my late aunt Jinx and a gallon jar filled with coins that she left behind with the label, "Money we have found walking."  When we cleared her house after she passed in 2009, we found her jar pushed back on a closet shelf with over $300 assorted coins, apparently found here and there by herself or late Uncle John, her husband on their walks or in parking lots, or wherever.  I too used to find money frequently sometimes even currency.  And somehow I began to think that  today in all the miles I walk I never find money, none, not even a penny.  Was it that long ago that I would stop and pick up a loose penny on the ground, recalling, "a penny saved is a penny earned."  as others might just walk by, leaving the copper coin there. 


This reflects how rare use of cash is today.  While Jerry remains "old school" and likes to pay with cash, I seldom carry more than a couple dollars, instead use my handy ATM debit card.  That was another annoyance in Europe to be using different cash currencies in the different towns.  Last October in California at a restaurant with cousins and aunt, Jerry pulled out cash to pay the bill to the astonishment of my 80 some year old Aunt Pearl who asked wide eyed, "Do people still use money today?" 

Think about it, cash is rarely used.  Many are addicted to "points" they accumulate from charging  everything on plastic cards.  They consider accumulating points wise, a rebate, a bargain, I find them  annoying. For example our Verizon points, over 300.000 and not a thing worth our cashing them.  Most of their offers require additional cash for something we would not buy anyway.   So the Verizon points sit and pile up, useless.  We have used some points on other cards for cash yet the $100 or even $10 is not nearly what we have spent. 

We have never been charge card type people, which has likely given us a much  easier lifestyle today in retirement.  Often we hear these adds about consolidating debts, stretching the finance payments out and I am grateful that we never got into that lifestyle.  Other than our home mortgages, we did not owe payments.  If we charged anything it was paid for fully the next month when the bill arrived. We were frugal, savers, we did not waste our hard earned money and did not live beyond our means.  How different were we from others?  Yet, our frugality has afforded us a debt free retirement, a nice life style. 

We used to save spare change, coins that accumulated in purse and pockets went into a basket and then  periodically Jerry would roll them up into the  distinct paper coin wrappers and take them to the bank.  Today that basket takes longer to fill, as I mentioned I admit to seldom using cash so I have  less change to dump and Jerry often leaves his along with the tip at the restaurant, or spends it.  Not too long ago when he took the last stack of rolled coins to the bank, they had to open each and dump into the coin machine to count, a sign of the times.  The teller said it was now the policy because some unscrupulous people used to plug the rolls with  fake currency.   

Money, yes, I always stooped to pick up a penny, coins.  And yet today, no spare change drops from pockets.  It's probably a good thing people do not drop their plastic cards, that would be a terrible find in the hands of the wrong person.  How different life is today from when we skipped along chanting and holding up and down our fingers,
"Two shiny quarters,
Before the day was done
One bought a sucker,
Then there was one.
One little quarter,
I heard it plainly say,
"I'm going in the piggy bank
For a rainy day!"
Pocket change

And that's it for today, when few anticipate the possibility of that rainy day.  We were raised differently in different times, when money was cash, one spent what they had or less.  And yes, tragic circumstances, misfortune can foil the best laid plans, but still saving money, planning was a good thing.  I am glad we did.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Springtime and hopscotch trivia

Just a week ago some white patches now all gone
Alleluia, spring has arrived,  although our ground remains  hard. impenetrable while wet where thawing begins despite some  nights taking it back to freezing temperatures.  Our long winter of discontent  has vanished taking with it our complaints and the last patches of snirt, those dirty icy blots.  The warmth of the sunshine even accompanied by cool or cold air beckons us outdoors.  Nothing like  fresh air, blue skies and  sunshine to renew  ourselves and shake the winter away.  Sunday, I went on my first 2014 long outdoor walk, sans jacket, only my long sleeved shirt. 

  I had posted photos onto  Facebook of a local home where the owner adorns the barren branches of her shrubs with plastic Easter eggs. I admire her ambition which produces a  pleasant colorful sight in contrast to the unbudded brown branches of her shrubs.  And  then farther along the street stop to admire our wide open streets, little traffic in this small midwestern town this day, other folks are out walking their dogs and one young boy dribbles his basketball on his way to shoot hoops at the elementary school lot. 

Elm Street   La Crescent

The city is  in the process of removing many of the old ash trees around town, replacing with different varieties  to  avoid tragic infestations from the emerald ash borers, larvae of which may have frozen out over our severe winter.  Perhaps that was one good thing about a long hard freeze.  It worries us, we may have to remove two or three of our  stately older ash trees on our property.  We will have an arborist check them again soon, two years ago they were good and  so far we have avoided the bug  but experts tell us there is no escape.  Such a shame to lose those stately antique trees but we like other locals do not want to experience the misfortunes of this epidemic.  
Old nest high up in the tree

I noticed a left over nest clinging  high atop one of the trees along Elm Street and marvel that it had the tenacity to stay put all winter long, a testament to the bird or hawk that constructed it.  Soon green  leaves will adorn the limbs and shade the walkways below.


I spotted my first 2014  hopscotch along the way and could not resist jumping it.  There was no sign of the children who drew it, I assume girls because we were the ones to delight in this in my day.  Posted to Facebook it elicited comments of not having seen these since our own childhoods and how children today especially in California are most unlikely to know what hopscotch is.  I  became curious about it's origins now.  It was a taken for granted activity growing up in Pennsylvania where we chalked up our alleyway. although I do not remember having colored chalks such as are available today.

Hopscotch in La Crescent
  It is reassuring to live in a town  where children still play hopscotch and outside games.  This design looked a bit different than what I recalled drawing out as a child and I learned it is the "modern design"  figures, my style would be "vintage."  I read that an ancient  type of hopscotch may have been played in Roman times but the first recorded English speaking references to it are the late 17th century England called scotch-hop or scotch-hoppers.  It was described in Wikipedia as a game where young boys hopped over "scotches in the ground" which I think might mean scratches if it were on dirt.  This has tweaked my interest in  learning more about this old game which we often hopped along to rhymes.  

One last tidbit,yesterday we saw the neurosurgeon who scheduled Jerry's back surgery for April 16, a hemi- laminectomy and microdisectomy  which is minor in the grand scheme of surgeries and  expected to be a breeze, performed under anesthesia but at the outpatient surgical center.  The surgeon said Jerry is a prime candidate, physically fit or he was until this set back, healthy and not overweight and not a smoker.  So we anticipate positive outcome from this surgery which will involve a minor  one inch incision on his back which will be glued, no disc replacement, no metal rods, no muscle cutting and his full recovery should be swift, a month or less.  This is the best news in months and he is really anxious to hit the road in our motor home. The surgeon is a youthful new doctor coming  down form Mayo in Rochester, MN who explained everything so thoroughly that I had no questions at the end of the consultation.  Relief is imminent  for him now which he welcomes, has been a long siege these past  months.     

Monday, July 29, 2013

Walking La Crescent and packing for north

From the hardware store looking down to Main Street
The other direction down the street
 Yesterday afternoon for my walk I trotted  the mile to the grocery store in our "downtown" to get an ingredient for dinner.  It was a great day for walking, coolish but sunny. I considered riding my bike but it was a bit windy, fine when it's at your back but tougher pedaling into the wind especially uphill.   As was expected for a Sunday afternoon La Crescent and streets were fairly deserted; I took my smart phone along and  snapped some pictures of our small quiet town which I jokingly refer to as  Mayberry, actually Barney Fife resides here, a story for another time.  I posted the photos to Facebook but decided to share here too, to update my blog presence.  
One of  three banks in this town, population 5000.
In the 1940's when Jerry was growing up here, this was
the elementary school. 

On my way back home with small bag in hand I stopped to photo our only traffic light at the highway intersection.  Actually not much traffic even on the highways, but here are some photos of that intersection:


Our recent  week of heat wave subsided and now we are enjoying  lovely MN cooler weather, so much so that I wore a sweater over a top yesterday to church.  But I love the cooler air, no complaints here and we feel this is a preview of we expect in August, 50 to 60 degrees. 

Only 11 days until we  depart "north to Alaska" for  which preparation has consumed hours of my thought, planning and staging for packing.  My wardrobe will be all casual, jeans, t's and layers. We were advised to pack a separate suitcase for the  cruise at the tour's end; that bag will be held  on the coaches that will transport us all over on land and delivered to our state room once we are on board our Celebrity Lines Millennium.  We have done cruises in the past and are not impressed now with posing for captain's night or dressing up, in finery galore.  Phooey, been there before, done that, and will opt for casual dining elsewhere on the ship.  We know we will have rainy weather too,  but we are  prepared for that courtesy of our tour company, John Hall's who sent us each our monogrammed, dandy long length (for us short people) wind breaker aka rain jackets. A couple weeks ago when the box arrived with our gear, tote  carry along bags, jackets, tags, luggage tags, itinerary, information, etc  it was like Christmas.    
Staging clothes onto the bed

Putting one guest bedroom to use or staging and packing, or for my wardrobe.  Jerry is quite confident he can get his jeans shirts socks and underwear into his suitcase in no time, and he likely will.  But I must ponder, a tiny bit of bling to go along with ultra casual...and then,  what if I need.. and do not have it......well  the short  answer is "punt" or another 4 letter word would be, "shop."
It's a challenge packing suitcases, limited to weight and all the sort of business travelers who do not drive their own motor homes deal with all the time.  However I am sure that I will meet the demands and after all since he has extra room in his suitcases, I can always use some of that.  I think if I had lived in  an earlier age I would have enjoyed steamer trunks filled to the brim accompanying me on voyages....that is if I were in the right elite traveling class.