jump to navigation

It’s All Hallow’s Eve October 31, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Nature, Special Events.
Tags: , , ,
2 comments

You never know who you might meet on a Haunted Trail . . .

2014-10-25 18-55-52_0018

“My what long legs you have . . . “

“All the better to c~h~a~s~e you with . . . “

2014-10-25 18-55-14_0017

If you get scared, keep breathing . . . don’t lose your head!

2014-10-25 18-49-51_0015

“Hey!  What’s that floating in the breeze?”

2014-10-25 18-53-15_0016

Just a little Spanish Moss . . .

2014-10-25 18-14-45_0013

Aah . . . that’s spooky!

“It’s Time To Fly!” October 27, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, Poetry, Word Play.
Tags: , , ,
74 comments

IMGP4171

“Tonight’s Halloween.  Let’s have fun.
Mayhem and mischief shall be done!”

Hilda swirled and twirled round the room.
Fireplace sparks pierced the gloom.

“Where’s my broomstick?  It’s time to fly!”
Pumpkin sat mute.  With no reply.

Hilda reached underneath the bed,
but only found a shrunken head.

She opened drawers and closet doors,
accompanied by creaking floors.

Dust rose and fell as Hilda paced.
Pumpkin glared.  Evil grin in place.

IMGP1797b

Cauldron bubbled with purple brew.
“Broomstick. Broomstick. Where are you?”

The clock chimed twelve and Hilda froze,
as one small tear ran down her nose.

* * *

To enter:  Add a Link to the 4th Halloweensie Contest List on Susanna’s Blog

Flying Squirrels & Other Silly Bits October 26, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, People.
Tags: , , ,
31 comments

Beyond politics, gardening, and newsy tidbits, my grandfather’s letters are sprinkled with flying squirrels, dueling mosquitoes, and other silly bits:

1957

2/24 ~ Hartland: busy week, including a trip to Middlebury for the Mid Winter Legion meeting, banquet, and dance.  “After the orchestra left for home a group of 25 or so got around a piano and sang old songs.  I got away with it in the crowd.”

6/13 ~ Montpelier: “Last evening as I prepared for bed I discovered I had a noise in the closet. (It wasn’t a skeleton).  I suspected the half-witted woman from the third floor at first as she some times wanders in on people. I got a flash light.  Inspection showed a flying squirrel sitting on the pillow stored on end of the closet.  I got the dust mop and tapped him over the left ear.  I then laid him out on the porch roof till I could embalm him.  This morning I completed the rites.”

9/12 ~ Family politics.  “Margaret is getting so she TV’s till 11 o’clock.  And after all she said against it!  Wow!”  [First documented example of transforming a noun ("TV") into a verb.]

1958

2/17 ~ Deland, FL.  For his birthday, he decided to visit with an old girl friend, Thelma Lovell.  “Last Saturday I dressed with unusual care and prevailed on Margaret that we should look Thelma up.  Margaret was a bit sour but she went.  Now it is the party at Merrills.  The mad social whirl!”

11/28 ~ Hartland: “With respect to the Church Drive, I am drifting along and letting the sand sift and settle as it may.  We have churches which through discord and disagreement are being allowed to rot while a frantic minority campaigns to build more, which as far as I know may also rot.”

1959

2/5 ~ Montpelier: “I have been giving some thought to a gift for Feb. 14. I feel that you might like another tool for the shop or cigars if you still use them. Since you can buy something you would like, please do. Oh, Richard, part of the gift you buy is from Margaret. Like if you get a hammer, the handle is from Margaret.”

Margaret & Walter at my parents' wedding, 1955

Margaret & Walter at my parents’ wedding, 1955

1960

8/26 ~ Hartland:  “I had an exhibit at the Hartland Fair.  Do you remember the “Swimming Hole” black and white over the desk?  Emerline Webster wanted Arts & Crafts exhibits and I entered that.  It got a 3rd prize.  I always thought I had a high degree of artistic taste!”

9/2 ~ “I have been watching Echo I [passive communications satellite] each night.  Last evening it was visible at 7.59 and 10.04.  I was able to find it both trips around.  Margaret went up back of the mill with me the last time.  It is just the time she wants to prowl anyway.  It is a nice morning.  The sun was up at seven, or before, when we first looked upon it.  The brook was peaceful and full to overflowing of the dam.  Only a wandering mosquito broke the slumber with its insistent buzzing.  I traced it to a window, open a mere bit, and battled with it.  I think I slew it.  Our Day had started. Margaret is cooking something by the sound from the kitchen.  I dare not enter.”

1961

2/25 ~ Hartland: “My day yesterday had it filled with snow flakes. That stuff most necessary for skis. It fell all day. This morning it is sunny. On the sordid side, I spent much of yesterday with a wooden shovel in my hand. There is plenty of snow for all. It is two feet above the window ledge at my desk. There is more to put . . . I don’t just know where. I had to start by clearing the porch roof. It had to be moved again to clear the path down to the shed door, gas bottles, and garage. Soon the entrenchment was too high to shoot out of breast high. The only entrance is the kitchen door.”

“We watched the space shot from the arm chair. It was on all day. We served coffee and something at noon, our eyes glazed but still glued to Cocoa Beach. Believe me, the arm chair is an exciting place these days. Alice in Wonderland had Margaret on the edge of her seat. I just spent an hour with the wooden hand tool. The pinnacle hangs higher in the sky. If the clouds hung low, I could see, dim, through the break in the mist, the snow tipped range, the stunted growth, the Mountain of the Moon, the Himalaya in the yard. I read the Geographic. And no fooling I like it. Marjorie read some of this over my shoulder. Said she, “They will think you are a goof.” In closing, I am alive. I have been seen returning to the coal bin after dark each night with a shovel.”

3/12 ~ Hartland:  “We had a mild February and early March but on the ninth 12 or 14 inches came down.  When I walked to the State House, the sidewalks were bare, the evening balmy.  I dashed down at seven in low shoes and no rubbers.  My head was bent in deep and concentrated thought.  I should have looked skyward but too busy ~ I went home in 3 inches of snow.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Caramel Apples At The Fair October 20, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, Fun & Games, People, Poetry.
Tags: , , , ,
29 comments

My niece Emily, now 21, loved horses growing up ~ real ones with toothy grins and wooden carousel horses racing in perpetuity on Merry-Go-Rounds.

In August, I shared a 25-word story about Emily urging a carousel horse to go faster, Falling On Deaf Ears.

That reminded me of this horse tale from years ago.

* * *

HorseracingEmily and her horse Trixie are ready for fun
School’s out for three months.  Summer’s begun!

They’ll go to horse shows and compete for first place
They’ll ride round the farm and win a horse race

They’ll see the excitement at the State Fair
And make new memories while they are there

* * * * *

The day of the Fair dawned bright and clear
Emily headed to the barn, overflowing with cheer
She saddled up Trixie with her usual care
All the while chatting about what they’d see at the Fair

They headed for the trail and cantered up and down
Until they spied the Ferris Wheel towering o’er the ground
“Oh, look, there it is!  We’ll have such fun, me and you.”
Trixie neighed as if to say, “I’m excited too!”

On the midway, they smiled as they took in the sights
Clowns, rides, barkers, and colorful flashing lights
When Emily got hungry, she knew just what to do
She stopped for a caramel apple and ended up with two

“Trixie loves apples . . . and sugar cubes, of course ~
a caramel apple is perfect Fair food for a horse!”
Emily held out the caramel apple and Trixie bit in
After swallowing the treat, she shared a toothy grin

That night, with Trixie in the barn, Emily curled up in bed
Smiling at the images twirling and dancing in her head
She and Trixie had made memories they would always share
Of the day they ate caramel apples while visiting the Fair

Aah . . . that’s better!

Wry Observations on Dry Politics October 19, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, Life Balance, People.
Tags: , , ,
33 comments

After my grandfather retired, he ran for the State Legislature in Vermont and served a few terms as Town Representative for Hartland.   While serving, he peppered letters to my dad with wry observations on otherwise dry politics.

Margaret & Walter at my parents' wedding, 1955

Margaret & Walter at my parents’ wedding, 1955

1956

8/5 ~ Hartland: “The date is closed for filing for Town Rep.  No one else filed as far as I know.  I ought to be able to win I guess.  To lose, I would have to fall on my face or die.”

9/13 ~ Results of primary on 9/11.  “The total vote was 155. Senator Aiken received 145. Representative Prouty received 144. Walter Hatch received 140. I had expected to win but had expected there might be more who would not vote for me.”

11/7 ~ Results of election. “Hartland had a big turn-out to vote. Some 75% of the clerk’s list. The total vote cast was 595. I got 452 out of a possible 500. That needs explaining. Max Rogers only had 500 Representative ballots printed. The last 95 could not vote on Town Representative. So politics is over for a bit.”

Damon Hall ~ Hartland Vermont

1957

1/1 ~ New Year’s Greetings with exuberant good wishes and details of his new suit for Montpelier.  “I have bought a new suit in reddish brown gray.  It is said to look well with gray hair, a little thin, you know, on top.”

1/12 ~ Montpelier:  “I am now officially a member of the Honorable General Assembly.” Details of 1st week.  “As ever, your “Honorable Dad.”

6/13 ~ Montpelier: “We are nearly through with our work in the House except for such bills as come from the Senate.  They are behind us with their work again this year.”

1958

9/2 ~ “Politics are getting hotter.  I still have no contest, but the Senate race and Lt. Governor are interesting.”

9/10 ~ Hartland: “Dear Richard & Barb, etc.  The “etc.” is also important.  I have been watching the TV for two or three evenings.  Last night was the VT and NH Primaries.  Of course, I had to sit up for that.  The vote was light I would say.  Too bad people don’t take more interest.  I think they would sit up and think some if they lost the right.  It was quiet here in Hartland.  No contests.  Out of a total of 214 ballots, I got 203.  Of course, these are Primaries.  As you know, the real election is in November.”

11/6 ~ Hartland: “I will write to give you the results of the election. With a total vote cast of 384, I had 352. Stafford (Rep.) for governor got 260 while the Democrat candidate polled 111. Since no one was running against me, I got quite a few votes from Democrat voters. State wide, we have a democrat for the lone Representative to Congress for the first time since before the Civil War.”

Governor Robert Theodore Stafford (in Public Domain)

1959

1/16 ~ Hartland:  “We are off to a flying start in Legislation activity.  Robert Stafford is our Governor.  I worked for his election so was satisfied.  On Thursday, the retiring Governor gave his farewell address before a formal Joint Assembly with the Supreme Court in attendance in robes, etc.  After lunch, we met again in like manner to hear Gov. Stafford’s address.  Committee assignments were read Thursday. I am on the State and Courts Expense Committee.  I do not know all the types of bills we have to process.  The Chairman is a man named Lawrence.  I liked his reports in the last session but did not get to know him then.  Today I read over a part of the Attorney General’s Report.  It is a 200 page book giving opinions of the past 2 years and cases he tried, etc.  I figured I better know something of his thoughts because we will have to work with him in our committee quite a lot.”

5/24 ~ “Legislature is in its last days but may last a week or possibly two.  It is a split session and I expect to work some in October or November getting some bills ready for Jan. 12 1960 when the final part of this session will meet and eventually close.”

9/6 ~ Hartland: “I have to be in Montpelier the 21st for as long as committee meetings last thereafter.  I am quite interested in the outcome of the coming visits between Russia and the U.S.  I expect both lies and bluster mixed in with honey ~ for peace.”

12/13 ~ “It is 10 minutes walk to the dome. Ray Heyser, the House Speaker, was in town and ate dinner with 6 or 7 of us. After dinner, Ray cornered me and grinned and said, “How are you getting on, Walter? How do you like the committee I put you on?” I told him I hoped I was doing all right. He went off with a wicked gleam in his eye. And so we go. “

Vermont State House, circa 1870

1960

1/31 ~ Hartland:  “The third week of the session is over and we are getting on quite well.  The first big bill #386 passed the house and senate and is back in the house with minor amendments. The second #392 which dealt with consolidation of departments is through 2nd reading.  There was an attempt made to amend it to death.  We upset the amendment and I did some of the talking against it.  I orated in my best form that:

“No one should as a public servant be appointed for life. We want no Kingdom of Education!  Let me point out: an indefinite appointment may perpetuate a poor policy equally as a good. I hope you see fit to defeat the amendment.”

Very dramatic.  And with those short and simple words, I sat.  Well I have rambled on and I hope you can get at least some of the picture of what happens as you make a law.  We have got a good committee if I do say it and we were all happy Friday night but trying hard not to appear smug.”

8/26 ~ Hartland:  “Louis Springer is filed to run for Representative also, so we are in a contest.  It is friendly so far.  I encouraged him to file and let the voters decide it Sept. 11.”

My grandparents' home in Hartland Vermont, circa 1972

My grandparents’ home in Hartland Vermont, circa 1972

9/13 ~ Hartland: “We vote today. News later.” “8 PM ~ I just returned from the hall. I seem to have won in the Town Representative count: 133 to 118 for Springer. Unless someone files by petition, I will have to work in Montpelier again this Winter.”

11/14 ~ Hartland:  “I was disappointed when Nixon lost and by so little. However, we have to live and not wring our hands.  Here in town, Stafford won over Meyers and Keyser is governor.  Hartland had a big vote out ~ 644 (72%). My vote was 558 as I had no one running against me.  We went to Montpelier and got a place to stay engaged.”

1961

1/4 ~ Montpelier: “Here we are again “under the Dome.” Tomorrow is Governor’s Ball. We may go and watch awhile. And so it goes.”

State House, Montpelier Vermont (in Public Domain)

1/11 ~ Montpelier: “Roy Lawrence read Committee appointments this morning. Evo is chairman of State and Court and I am Vice Chairman. You can see I will soon be Governor or something. Probably something.”

3/19 ~ “Our committee has requests in various bills for pay raises of $2,100,000 per year.  Revenue is off just now so I fear we will have to use a knife and pare them down some.  Not so pleasant to do.”

7/10 ~ Hartland: The 200 Year Celebration.  “Margaret is mailing a parcel for Nancy. And tomorrow back to the snake pit.”

7/25 ~ Montpelier: “I thought we would close the session this week but the senate is stalling (11 to 2 for lunch today). I visited the Senate afternoon session. It ran exactly 20 minutes. It was a stall session. Most people in both houses are disgusted but it is not easy to force the Senate leaders.”

7/31 ~ Montpelier: “We are really on our final week. I shall be glad to be out of it. A few people are cleaning out their desks as far as possible ready to leave tomorrow.”

1962

7/27 ~ Pavilion Hotel, Montpelier: “I am called to a Special Session to consider 4 matters.  It was nice to see everyone and I have had some good visits.  I talked with the Governor a few minutes.  I presume I will be up here into next week.  It depends on the Senate.  It is a lot of in fighting done with a smiling face.  I have kept a lot of notes on what I have learned in various ways.  It is as interesting as “Advise and Consent.” ”

Pavilion Hotel, Montpelier VT (in Public Domain)

8/7 ~ Montpelier: “We are still tied in a reapportionment deadlock with the Senate. It is a power play. The cost is about $25,000 per week while it lasts. I expect you are back home. We had a nice visit at the lake.”

8/15 ~ Hartland: “The Special Session of the Vermont Legislature has passed into history. It was an interesting session and I expect my last.”

1963

1/12 ~ Hartland: “I have been watching the start of the 1963 Session in the papers. I don’t feel too much of an itch to be there. I believe I am getting lazy.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Tie Salesman October 18, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, Joke.
Tags: , ,
32 comments

IMGP3157bWhile crossing the Afghan desert, a fleeing Taliban terrorist saw something off in the distance.

Desperate for water, he hurried toward the oasis.  There, he found a frail old man standing at a small makeshift display rack, selling ties.

The terrorist asked, “Do you have water?”

The salesman replied, “No. No water. Would you like to buy a tie? They are only $5.”

The terrorist shrieked, “Infidel! I do not need your over-priced western adornment. I spit on your ties. I need water!”

“Sorry, I have none – just ties – pure silk – and only $5.”

“Pahh! A curse on your ties. I should wrap one around your scrawny neck and put you out of your misery . . . but I must conserve my energy and find water!”

The salesman nodded. “It does not matter that you do not wish to buy a tie from me or that you hate me, threaten my life, and call me infidel. I am bigger than any of that. If you continue over that hill to the east for about two miles, you will find a restaurant with the finest food and all the ice-cold water you need.  Go In Peace.”

Cursing again, the desperate Taliban staggered away over the hill.

IMGP3155b

Several hours later, he crawled back, almost dead, and gasped . . .

“They won’t let me in without a tie.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

That’s Just Crazy! October 15, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, People, Travel & Leisure.
Tags: , , ,
30 comments

IMGP3167bWe watched a show on Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Those people are crazy.

They eat dinner at 10 pm . . . and that’s the Early Bird Special.

Even families with young children arrive at restaurants to dine at midnight.

That’s not the crazy part.

The clubs open at 2 a.m. and people dance til dawn.  Then what?  A quick yawn, shower, and off to work?

And that’s not the crazy part.

Folks there are big fans of plastic surgery ~ 1 out of 3 has had work done.

That’s not the crazy part.

IMGP3151bA high percentage of folks are receiving therapy for mental health issues.

But that’s not the crazy part.

Here’s the crazy part ~> they take their psychoanalysts on vacation with them!

How bizarre!

Maybe they bring them along to check for skeletons in the closet?

Or bats in the belfry?

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Spooktacular Contest October 10, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
Tags: , , , ,
26 comments

Snoopy-PumpkinSharpen your pencils, rev up your keyboards, check your typewriter ribbons!

It’s time for Susanna’s 4th Annual Halloweensie Contest.

In a pumpkin shell:

* 100 words (or less, no more)
* 3 required words ~> pumpkin, broomstick, creak
* prizes, prizes, prizes!!!

Post your story on your blog between 12:00 AM EDT Monday October 27th and Friday October 31st by 11:59 PM EDT and add your post-specific link to the list that will accompany Susanna’s October 27th post.

snoopy-&-linus-pumpkin-pathFor complete rules:  The 4th Annual Halloweensie Contest (Susanna Leonard Hill)

Tell her the Great Pumpkin sent ya!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source: Mixon Fruit Farms

 

How NOT To Cook A Turkey October 5, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Fun & Games, Humor.
Tags: , , , ,
36 comments

In letters written by my grandfather to dad in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, my grandfather mentioned getting up early to dress the turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings.

Most years, his calculations resulted in a stuffed bird ready to be eaten at the appointed hour.

But not always.

In 1971, he wrote my dad the day after Christmas to say:

The Royces were here in time for the gifts.  Previously, I started the turkey at 5:45.  Let it rest in the oven during gifts.

When I took it out it was OK ~ OK but the meat was off the bone, in the bottom of the roaster, all ready to lift out with a fork.  Which I did and filled the platter with delicate hunks.

The dressing was contained by the skeleton and I could see right in to get it out fine.  The dressing was dry and well seasoned with sage from the garden.   They were so hungry by then it was a big success and they cleaned the platter.

It was a happy day.

In the same letter, he shared a moment about his wife Margaret’s Christmas:

She insisted she could not be happy with anything except a new toilet seat.  I tried to tell her what a good one the old one was.

No Soap.  It just had to be.

I dangled a new watch, diamonds, a few dresses, another coat ~ No, A Toilet Seat.

IMGP2057

I had Hi bring one down from Shepards.  I worked all one forenoon trying to remove the old.  It clung to its position till in desperation I cut the bolts with a hacksaw.

The new one went on better and Margaret got a new set of table linen for it.  It sure looks nice especially the bib about the base.

I don’t long for the old days and old ways.  I recall how the wind whistled in the olds . . . out in the shed.

Public Toilets ~ Wikipedia (in Public Domain)

Aah . . . indoor plumbing . . . that’s better!

Collateral Conditions October 4, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, Joke.
Tags: , ,
29 comments

250px-New_Orleans_City_of_Old_Romance_and_New_Opportunity_Crop_p_23_MoneybagsHarlan Davis walked into a bank in New York City, asked for the loan officer, and explained that he was going to Paris for two weeks and needed to borrow $5,000.

Since he was not a depositor of the bank, the bank officer told him the bank would need some form of security for the loan.

Harlan nodded and handed over the keys to his new $250,000 Ferrari parked on the street in front of the bank. The bank agreed to hold he car as collateral for a loan at 12% interest.

A bank employee drove the Ferrari into the bank’s private underground garage and parked it.

Two weeks later, Harlan returned from Paris, met with the loan officer, and repaid the $5,000 plus interest of $23.07.

Dollar-BillsWhile waiting for a bank employee to bring the car around, the loan officer said, “Mr. Davis, we are happy to have had your business, but I’m a bit puzzled. When I checked you out on Dunn & Bradstreet, I found that you are a highly sophisticated investor with real estate and financial interests all over the world, including NYC. Why would you bother to borrow $5,000 for a 2-week trip?”

Harlan chuckled, “Where else in New York City can I park my car for two weeks for only $23.07 and expect it to be there when I return?”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  E-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,063 other followers