Tag Archive | holidays

Another way to look at our flag.

Happy 4th of July, Everyone!

 

A cool dip on the hot 4th!

Mrs. G getting ready for the parade.

The Geezer took me to an early 4th of July parade. I always ask lots of questions. Watching the parade pass prompted many. Our conversation, part of it, was as follows:

I asked, “Geezer, are fire engines painted red because that’s the color of fire?

The Geezer answered. “No, but I’ve heard two reasons why fire-engines are painted red. One is that early firemen were proud of their trucks and so they painted them the most expensive color available in the late 1800’s. But … The reason I think makes more sense was that most early automobiles were painted black. Firemen in the late 1800’s wanted it to be easy for people to see them coming when they raced to a fire so they painted their trucks red, a color not used on cars back then.

That was good info for my next trivia contest. I decided to ask a question I knew the answer to just to hear the old boy pontificate, “Geezer, why do you humans have fire-engines in a parade, play all that Souza music, and set off fireworks, and wave all those flags, on the 4th of July?”

Geezer grinned and said, “The 4th of July is our country’s birthday so we Americans celebrate it just like we celebrate your birthday on January 18th. But, you knew that, Sandy.”

I complained, “It’s different. My birthday only rates a bluegrass band and the parade consists of Mr. Smith’s pickup and boat trailer.” A band came around the corner, all with flags attached to their hats. “Wow, there are a lot of flags. Why do you humans have flags, anyway?”

Geezer answered, “All people have flags as symbols of their country. We have the stars and stripes, Japan has a rising sun, Canada has a Maple leaf. Those symbols say something about their country.”

“Why do we have the stars and stripes for America?” I asked.

The Geezer thought for a few seconds and then answered, “Sandy, most people will tell you the stars stand for each state we have in our nation and that thirteen stripes stand for the original thirteen colonies that declared their independence. That is true. But …… I’m going to give another reason, one that I believe is as important. I see those stripes as stairs that our country offers to all its citizens, who are willing to do the work to climb them, to reach the stars above.

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For information on the “Possibilities! The Hudson comes to the Peace” writers conference, go to http://www.abc-artisansofbooks.com or https://southwestfloridawritersconference.godaddysites.com .

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Sandy’s Dream of Twelve Golden Days of Christmas!

The Geezer and I wish you all a very “Merry Christmas”

 

On the 1st day of Christmas
My human gave to me
A fuzzy rug on which to play

I’m a reindeer – Did I fool anyone?

On the 2nd day of Christmas
My human gave to me
Two Osprey screaming
And a fuzzy rug on which to play

These birds are my alarm clock EVERY morning

On the 3rd day of Christmas
My human gave to me
Three hats to wear
Two Osprey screaming
And a fuzzy rug on which to play

I’m now known as “Mahatma Sandy”

On the 4th day of Christmas
My human gave to me
Four pounds of cheese
Three hats to wear
Two Osprey screaming
And a fuzzy rug on which to play

What is life without cheese?

On the 5th day of Christmas
My human gave to me
Five kitties meowing
Four pounds of cheese
Three hats to wear
Two Osprey screaming
And a fuzzy rug on which to play

Aren’t they cute? Too bad they grow into arrogant cats.

On the 6th day of Christmas
My human gave to me
Six balls to go a chasing
Five kitties meowing
Four pounds of cheese
Three hats to wear
Two Osprey screaming
And a fuzzy rug on which to play

Shiny balls that will be easy to see no matter how bad my human’s aim is!

On the 7th day of Christmas
My human gave to me
Seven pictures of Rin Tin Tin
Six balls to go a chasing
Five kitties meowing
Four pounds of cheese
Three hats to wear
Two Osprey a screaming
And a fuzzy rug on which to play

What a hunk! Someone to dream about.

On the 8th day of Christmas
My human gave to me
Eight quail a whistling
Seven pictures of Rin Tin Tin
Six balls to go a chasing
Five kitties meowing
Four pounds of cheese
Three hats to wear
Two Osprey a screaming
And a fuzzy rug on which to play

A painting – These type don’t hide in the palmetto bushes.

On the 9th day of Christmas
My human gave to me
Nine sticks of Pupperoni
Eight quail a whistling
Seven pictures of Rin Tin Tin
Six balls to go a chasing
Five kitties meowing
Four pounds of cheese
Three hats to wear
Two Osprey a screaming
And a fuzzy rug on which to play

“Yum-yum Bells, Yum-yum Bells. Yum-yum all the way!

On the 10th day of Christmas
My human gave to me
Ten two pound steaks a sizzling
Nine packages of Pupperoni
Eight quail a whistling
Seven pictures of Rin Tin Tin
Six balls to go a chasing
Five kitties meowing
Four pounds of cheese
Three hats to wear
Two Osprey a screaming
And a fuzzy rug on which to play

Dare I say it? My tongue anticipates heaven!

On the 11th day of Christmas
My human gave to me
Eleven bottles of Dom Perignon Champagne
Ten two pound steaks a sizzling
Nine packages of Pupperoni
Eight quail a whistling
Seven pictures of Rin Tin Tin
Six balls to go a chasing
Five kitties meowing
Four pounds of cheese
Three hats to wear
Two Osprey a screaming
And a fuzzy rug on which to play

Ohhh my …. See dem pink eliepantttss?

On the 12th day of Christmas
My human gave to me
Twelve glasses of Alka-Seltzer a fizzing
No bottles of Dom Perignon Champagne
No steaks a sizzling
No Pupperoni
No quail a whistling
No pictures of Rin Tin Tin
No balls to chase
No kitties meowing
No pounds of cheese
No hats to wear
No Osprey screaming
No fuzzy rug to sleep it all off

“OH, what a relief it is!

 

Merry Christmas and … A Happy Hang-over … Opps! … A Happy New Year.

PLEASE! No noise … no bright light … no making me move … and NO food!

 

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Happy 4th! … Bring the Cannoli and leave the Firecrackers!

I’m watching from the car as Mrs. G prepares for her ride in the 4th-of-July parade.

It was fun! I got to watch one of my humans participate in our community’s celebration of the birth of our nation. Mrs. G was in Pine Island’s Parade. With the sky-roof open the windows down and the AC running, I felt like an executive in a luxury box at a big-league stadium.

Mrs. G was a pirate. Aaarrggghhh! The boat-float’s slogan was “Give me freedom – or walk the plank.” It works …

The Geezer snapped these pictures before and during the parade. He tries, but he’d be better off writing about what he saw. He uses a camera as well as our cat Oreo swims … not very good. The only thing I didn’t like was the clown (literally) tossing firecrackers closer to me than I liked. The Geezer saw that ended quickly.

“Standing by the corner watching all the floats go by” The Geezer told me to write that. Mrs.G is in part of the boat he didn’t cut off.

It was fun! Now, I’m looking forward to one of those ribeyes I saw in the grocery bags. Grilling Beans, potato salad, and ice cream, YUM! Bring the Cannoli and leave the firecrackers. Happy 4th to you all!

 

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Saaaa-lute!

My salute to all U.S. veterans and our current military. To the living and especially to those who gave their all, God bless you!

 

Thank you!

 

Thank you, Thank you, Thank You!

Words aren’t always enough. We owe so much to those who have fought for our freedom, gained it and have protected it ever since. But since this is the best we can do … THANK YOU from my heart … and the Geezer’s.

 

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Code Blue! Sound the Sirens! Valentine’s Day ALERT!

Valentine's Day - Males forget it at their peril!

Valentine’s Day – Males forget it at their peril!

 

It’s danger days for males! Have you forgotten that gift? Those words? That evening out?

You know what day it is? It’s February 12th. That fact and a couple bucks will get you a lousy cup of restaurant coffee. So why is it so important? It’s two days before the 14th AND the 14th is  … Valentine’s Day! Have all of you males made your plans? Speaking for all ladies, human and canine, there are three days you boys need not forget: Valentine’s Day … Her birthday … Your anniversary (Particularly if a ring is involved).

If you were forgetful, you have this chance to have flowers delivered, buy chocolates or Lingerie, order pajamas or teddy bears, and make dinner reservations.

If you simply intend to ignore the event, let me enlighten you to possible consequences.

  • An empty underwear drawer.
  • The answer to any question you ask in the next thirty days will be “I forgot.”
  • Breakfast will consist of a bologna sandwich.
  • Your in-laws will be invited over for every weekend for three months.
  • Lunch will consist of a bologna sandwich.
  • The TV remote will disappear (I suggest looking for it in the frige freezer, her car’s glove compartment, or taped to the back of the toilet tank.)
  • Calls from all of your credit card companies stating you’re maxed out.
  • The loan of your hunting, fishing, camping, golfing, and tennis equipment to your lovely’s brother … located somewhere in Siberia.
  • Supper will consist of a piece of lettuce and a bologna sandwich.
  • A trip to your bedroom will be like a visit to Greenland complete with a glacier for a bed.

May Zeus, Mars, and Odin forgive you – she won’t.

 

PS- If she’s a reader a good book might work. Try the Geezer’s new book The Bait Man, a suspense/thriller. It’s being released this next week.

 

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A dog’s tale of Christmas spirit

As is my custom, I like to present my readers with a canine crafted Christmas story this time of year. This is a new one.

The Geezer and I wish you all a very "Merry Christmas"

The Geezer and I wish you all a very “Merry Christmas”

I watched the dog from my apartment window. The first time I noticed him was when I was eating lunch one Saturday. It was a blustery December day, cold, dreary … the type day best served by fireplaces, sofas with blankets, hot chocolate, and football games on the TV … not being outdoors. My apartment building adjoins the park where I saw him; that park’s lively April through October, but is as still as a mortuary in the cold Midwestern winter.

The dog was by himself, his actions rather strange for he chose to sit by an isolated park bench away from the access sidewalks that criss-cross the facility. Immobile as a statue, he faced into the wind and waited. I might have forgotten about him if it hadn’t been for the fact he was a Golden Retriever, one of my favorite canine breeds. It was for this reason I noticed the same animal, sitting precisely in the same location, after I returned from church the next day.

I’m a project engineer and elected to take a break in job assignments. Christmas was coming and with it another anniversary. My wife died, an untimely victim of a drunk driver the preceding Christmas day. Our ten years together was hardly enough and there were no children to help fill a Grande Canyon sized void in my life. Pity from relatives and friends, though well-meaning, added to my anguish. Their efforts to force me to indulge in an active social life revolted me. I was home, alone, on Monday and when lunch time arrived, I looked to see if the dog had returned to the park. He sat there, waiting for someone or something, patiently.

It was a bright, sunny day, with clear skies and cool temperatures. Between eating a sandwich, sipping coffee, and reading a novel, I kept tabs on the beast. The dog sat there, gazing intensely at the park entrance. The clock in my kitchen chimed two, I glanced at the dog in time to see him walking, alone, to the park’s front gate. I watched him cross the street and disappear into a maze of apartment buildings and homes. I decided I’d see if he’d return the next day. He did.

At eleven the next morning I saw him stroll through the park entrance, trot straight to the same bench, face the gate, sit on his haunches, and wait. Promptly at two, he left. Fascinated, I waited for the animal to change his behavior. He did not vary from his routine. Rain, wind, bitter cold … nothing made a difference. The only change I could see was his body thinning and a slightly perceivable slow-down in his gait.

A few days before Christmas two inches of snow covered the ground. I fancied I could see the animal shake. The poor dog looked as empty-hearted and forlorn as I felt. Before I gave it much thought, a pack of hamburger was in the microwave defrosting.

When I entered the park and stepped the hundred yards that separated us, the dog never looked at me. His eyes were focused on some unseen being in the world outside the park entrance. Goldens are known for their friendly disposition, but this one never acknowledged my existence, even when I sat on the bench next to him. His body was emaciated, his eyes slightly sunk into his skull.

“Hi boy.” The dog ignored me. “Who are you waiting for?” The retrievers eyes remained fixed on the gate. “You hungry?” I removed the hamburger from a cloth cooler and held it on my lap. The dogs nose twitched and its tongue circled its mouth. It did not move or take its eyes away from their vigil. I unwrapped the waxed paper from around the meat and placed it in front of the dog. It whimpered, but remained immobile. “Go ahead, boy.” He whimpered louder. “Go on,” I coaxed. The dog’s hunger won for a few seconds. He dropped his head over the meat and in a couple of gulps the hamburger disappeared. The dog returned to its watch. No amount of petting or verbal persuasion could distract it from its purpose.

“That dog belong to you?” A policeman stared down at the two of us. His expression was friendly, but sad.

“No, officer. I’ve been watching it from my window.” I pointed to my apartment. “I felt sorry for him.”

“It’s a stray. Some people reported it hanging around their home a couple days ago. I been keeping an eye on it. It doesn’t have a home. Sleeps where it can find a warm spot. One thing it does do, it always comes here during lunch time. I was hoping it was yours. Now I’ll have to call animal control and get it put down.”

“You don’t have to do that, do you?”

“Afraid so … unless someone adopts it.”

I heard myself say, “I will.”

‘Royal’ came home with me from the pound on Christmas Eve. It was obvious the dog had been well trained and cared for before his abandonment. He reacted to his new home with an attitude of grateful acceptance. As I had expected, there was a defined reservation in his demeanor. I new I was number two and probably always would be. We woke on Christmas morning … me grateful that something had entered my life to return some focus to it … he grateful for his improved chance of survival. I told him, “Well Royal, we got each other for Christmas.”

We spent the morning introducing ourselves to each other until eleven. It was then Royal barked for the first time. He changed from being calm and sedate to agitated. He went to the apartment door and scratched it and the floor beneath it. “Have to go out?” I asked. He barked and kept looking back and forth at the door and me. I had the leash on him and as we left the apartment there was no doubt where he was headed.

He led me to the park bench, and we sat there and waited, for what I had no idea. It was sunless, very cold, the wind was vicious, snow flew by horizontally and I settled deeper into my coat, wrapping my scarf over my face. Royal whimpered then began barking. When I uncovered my face he was staring at me … I thought.

From the bench next to me a soft feminine voice said, “I’m so happy that Clancy found a new home.” The voice came from a pretty young lady. Her long silver coat covered her in a manner that was surreal. Her brown hair spilled from a knitted cap, she had brown eyes, and smiling lips.

“You know who the dog belongs to?” I asked. She rose, nodded, said “yes,” and knelt in front of Royal wrapping her arms around the animal. It whimpered softly. The girl said, “Clancy belonged to Sally James. Sally had leukemia. The last weeks she lived she came to this park and sat here with Clancy.” The girl stroked the dog and scratched behind its ears. She put her head next to the dog’s ear and whispered to it. “I lost track of him after Sally died.” She patted the Golden on its head a few times and stood up. She smiled at the dog then at me.

I hoped for a negative answer. “If you’d like to take the dog, since he knows you …”

“Oh, no. I can’t have him with me. No dogs allowed kind of place. He is yours now. Besides, you two were made for each other.”

Royal, or Clancy, rested his head on my knee. His eyes were fixed on mine. It was as though a bond had passed from the dog, through the girl, to me. Looking deep into his eyes, I asked, “Ready to go home, boy?” He whimpered a positive response.

“Jessica approves.” It was the girl’s voice, but my wife’s name. My head jerked up to look at her … to ask her. No one was there. The dog and I were alone. His head and eyes were on me and are hearts were one. The weather hadn’t changed, but my life had suddenly turned warm. I spoke to the wind that howled around me, “Thank you Sally. Thank you Jess.” I will never be sure, but I believe I heard two women’s voices faintly, sweetly answer in the wind, “Merry Christmas.”

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