Good Morning Ted and Jody:
I got your note and C.A.R.E. package. I do enjoy the stamps you send. Thank you. As for the note, I laughed my head off at your characterization of my dentist as 1” tall and needing to provide protective head gear and a chest protector. Her high heels would have been taller than she if that were true.
Yesterday was trash day. When I hauled the trash can out to the street, the neighbor’s kid, a 9-year-old named L.J. (Little Jason, his father is Jason) asked what I was doing. I explained I was going to put my fire pit together. He wanted to help. So, he and I proceeded to get down and dirty. Now this assembly required inserting 16 bolts (no nuts, I guess “nutless” assembly is now the rage) into 16 double holes (one in each of two pieces) to unite two pieces (burn dish and a stabilizer for the legs) with four (the legs). Then put a hook into the top cover with a nut this time (I guess covers are not “nutless” -it is good that something in a fire pit has a nut).
Since I am old and don’t bend well, L.J. inserted the bolts into the holes. Occasionally one dropped on the ground. The ground where we assembled it is covered with gunmetal gray minus ¾ths gravel. So the fallen bolts blended in rather well. We were in the shade, so there was no glint of sunlight off metal to betray where they had fallen. L.J suggested a flashlight and sure enough, using my cell phone as a flashlight we were able to find each one he dropped. (I did wonder, since he dropped them all, if dropping them was an excuse to use my cell phone again and again as a flash light).
After L.J. dropped the third bolt, I said, “We are going to have to teach you to swear.” He didn’t say anything, but gave me a look that said, “OH, Yah!” So, I proceeded to teach him the magic words that make all difficult tasks easier: “Dag nab it!” “Oh, Fluff!” and “Of all the rotten luck!” Those made him giggle a bit. When he dropped the next blot he ventured a tentative “shoot” (not capital, no explanation point, just a quiet shoot. We need to work on his technique).
About half way through, L.J. spotted a small red ant. “Do they bite?” he asked pointing to one? I told him “Not unless they are provoked. So you don’t want to tell a red ant that his mother wears combat boots or anything like that.” L.J. smiled but seemed to want to scratch himself all over. Apparently it is not necessary for an ant to actually get on a person to make the person itch.
At one point when my cell phone was not needed as a flashlight, the imaging department at the hospital called to schedule an MRI for my back. Habitually I use the speaker phone otherwise I have to take my hearing aid out and well, it is just easier. Before I could be scheduled I had to answer a bunch of questions. When I got done and hung up, L.J. has his own questions: was that the hospital, what is claustrophobia, and why someone have metal in their eyes. Yes, it was the hospital. So I explained about getting locked in a locker at school by bullies, having aliens abduct one and experiment by putting metal in their eyes and all the logical reasons why the hospital would ask dumb questions.
With L.J.’s help I finished in well over an hour. About an hour into the assembly, L.J.’s mother tracked him down and summoned him for football practice. His response “Aw Mom. Do I have to?” As mothers everywhere will, she patiently explained to him that “You like football.” She either ignored or didn’t hear him mutter, “But not practice. I don’t like practice.”
So, that was how I got this thing together. Putting the thing behind it together is a much longer story.
Warmest regards, Ed