“The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.”

Despite my lethargy, I got everything done yesterday. I even took Gracie to the dump then brought her home so I could do my other errands without having to leave her in the hot car. The dump was unusually quiet. Sometimes I miss the old days with squawking seagulls circling the piles of trash. It wasn’t pretty, but it was interesting and loud.

I remember learning to tie a bow so I could tie my shoes. My mother was sitting in the chair by the picture window close to the door, and I was leaning on the chair’s arm beside her. She had a huge ribbon tied around a stuffed animal’s neck. I think it was a teddy bear. She tied the bow slowly, one step at a time, explaining as she went, and I watched. She tied it a few times then had me try. My fingers seem to have minds of their own. They didn’t go where I expected. They fluttered about as I held and tied the ribbon which knotted. My mother then guided my fingers as we tied the bow together. She did that a couple of times. I tried to fly solo again, and this time I did. I made a bow. It was loose and ugly, but it was still a bow. When I tied my shoes, the bow never lasted too long. I had yet to master the tightness of a good bow, but I did over time. My bows became useful and even pretty. I’d tie them with a flourish.

Being a kid meant learning new things all the time. I’d see a bug or a bird and want to know its name. Zippers gave me a bit of trouble. I knew what to do, but it wasn’t always easy to get the two bottoms to meet exactly right. Besides, zippers were in the wrong spot. They were below eye sight so it was often hit or miss.

I remember my first row-boat and rowing in circles. I just couldn’t coordinate the oars. My dad showed me what to do. He also taught me to swim. He was a great swimmer.

The red encyclopedias in our living room, the ones from the supermarket, got a lot of use. I would randomly pick a volume and read it. It was my way of learning new stuff. Every Christmas as a gift  I got that year’s Information Please Almanac. I loved filling my head with generally useless facts. Little did I realize back then their the value. Now those facts are called trivia, and I get to compete on Thursday nights in the winter.

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19 Comments on ““The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Everyday I learn something new whether I like it or not. Of course when I was a kid everything was new and exciting. I can tie my shoes, a bow on a gift but I can’t tie a bow tie. I only wore one once or twice when I was forced to wear a tuxedo. Fortunately, the ones I rented all came with clip on bow ties 🙂

    When my father was a kid his aunt took him to a store to buy a pair of pants. The zipper was a new invention at that time and the salesman was showing her pants with zipper flies instead of buttons. His aunt told the salesman that she didn’t like zippers in pants because her son owned a jacket with a zipper and he kept getting his tie caught. Rim shot!

    Young or old one of the laws of learning is the law of exercise. Meaningful repetition enhances learning. Trial and error extends the time to learn anything and creates frustration while a good patient teacher can reduce the time it takes to figure out anything.

    Eventually my father learned how to zip up his fly without getting anything important caught. Obviously, because I am here today.

    Today is forecast to be the hottest day this year. It could reach 105 degrees. A good day to stay inside and watch a movie.

    • katry Says:

      I can tie a regular tie but not a bow tie. When I worked at a high school, the boys were required to wear ties whenever they were in their graduation gowns. I had to tie several of them as the boys didn’t know how.

      That’s a funny story!!

      My mother was a most patient teacher, and I learned quickly. I tried to be as patient when I taught I used to come up with a whole variety of ways to teach the same thing until it was learned.

      I’d stay inside too!!

  2. olof1 Says:

    I did the same with the encyclopedias my grandparents had, my grandparents are gone but I have those encyclopedies in my book shelf 🙂 I loved to follow the: Also see…. and continue on what ever it was they rocommended.

    I can’t remember how I learned toi tie a bow but I do remember where I managed to do it for the first time, it was on the staircase at my grandparents. I remember how I ran upstairs to show my grandmother and I was so proud 🙂 zippers was awful and I don’t know how many times I managed to get it to stuck on my tshirts 🙂

    I didn’t row a boat until I was fairly old and knew how important it was to row at the same speed and depth on both sides 🙂

    Rain all night and some during the day today, too late for the grass to start growing again this week 🙂 I also finally saw and photographed the beaver in the creek. Soon it won’t be a creek but a river 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • Bob Says:

      We also had the low price, cheap, encyclopedia from the grocery store when I was a kid. My father hated the World Book Encyclopedia. Every classroom in the Dallas school district had a set which I think they got for free. In the summer the teachers would call on the parents trying to sell them the World Book. Obviously their sales pitch included the idea that the kid had to have the World Book since that was what they used in class. My father made his living as a salesman who hated to be sold anything 🙂

      • katry Says:

        One of the teachers at the school sold them but not as part of his school work as the school only had one copy of them in the library. The guy was obnoxious on his own without adding salesman to who he was. I remember he wore leisure suits long after they had gone out of style. I don’t think anyone ever bought the encyclopedia from him.

    • katry Says:

      I’d love a few volumes of that old encyclopedia. Some of the stuff hasn’t changed but most of it is so outdated now.

      Zippers do take a bit of a knack. I hate it when a piece of cloth gets caught or when a few of the teeth of the zipper get bent. The whole zipper is then pretty useless. Sometimes I’d sew the zipper shut if I didn’t need it to wear the clothes.

      That’s what my father taught me about rowing, making sure they go to the same depth. That was the hard part.

      Today looked like rain all day, even felt as if it would rain, but it never did, at least not yet. It is damp and windy.

  3. Birgit Says:

    Among other things I learned the english word “oars” today, courtesy of KTCC 🙂

    • katry Says:

      I’m always happy to introduce you to English words you’d probably never run into with anything else.

  4. im6 Says:

    Speaking of words. I think I need a new definition for “hot.” It’s now 108º in the shade on the balcony. Way too hot to polka.

    Which is my way of easing into the topic of accordion music. Here’s what I learned last night and this morning: You know the expression, “A little goes a long way”? Well, a LOT goes an even longer way. If it were a plane, it would roll off the runway, through the fences, and into an adjacent field or body of water. Those Parisian street cafes have folded up their umbrellas and closed up shop for the day. Myron Floren better stay out of my way!

    • katry Says:

      I haven’t seen temperatures that high since I lived in Africa during the dry season, and I had no AC. Heck, I didn’t even have a fan!

      I hope those street cafes were fun while they were open. Maybe they are meant for a single cup or even two each stop you stop! They are great songs though.

      Myron was just your regular accordion guy to me, nothing too flashy.

    • Birgit Says:

      im6, it’s me again, sorry, no stalking intended 😉
      I’m just checking my radio local radio programs for tomorrow and guess what I’ve found: “Polka in Texas”!
      In case you are interested (and there are no country restrictions) and you don’t mind hearing a renowned German DJ in between and it’s not too hot to polka you can find the playlist here:
      Stream: Link “Live hören”(Listen live) upper right corner.
      Time: Sunday, 22:05 is 4.05 pm Kat-time is ? your time.
      Duration: 55 min

      • katry Says:

        10 am my time and 9 am for im6.

      • im6 Says:

        Birgit… I wasn’t joking about it being hot, but I was joking about polka. Nothing against the dance, I suppose, but it’s not really something I actually seek out. Nor is polka music. But I appreciate your thinking of me.

        This should teach me not to make references to inside jokes. You see, Kat and I were exchanging and listening to accordion music last night. Guess I sort of OD’d on the stuff. If I happen to recover, I’ll check out the link. Oompa!

      • Birgit Says:

        Kat and im6,
        ok, no polka, but to make the confusion complete:
        22 Uhr my time = 10 pm my time = 4 pm Kat-time = 3 pm im6-time
        Believe me, I’ve studied mathematics 😉 and I like good Polka!

      • katry Says:

        Birgit and im6,
        I can take polka music for a while but OD on it quickly.

        Numbers and I have never been friendly!

        I know what time it is when I’m going somewhere but that’s it!

  5. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I wore buckle shoes until I was in the first grade because I refused to learn to tie laces. I still avoid tying laces if at all possible. My sneakers get tied once and they don’t get tied again unless they get way too loose or a lace breaks.
    Zippers were never a problem. Sometimes buttons were. It’s not always obvious that they aren’t lined up with the correct buttonhole.
    I don’t remember learning to row a boat. I just always rowed one. Sometimes an oar would come out of the lock which could be inconvenient if it fell into the water. Most times nothing untoward ever happened.

    Yesterday afternoon, I put Rocky out the front door. While I was waiting for him to do his thing I noticed many dozens of swallows working a patch of sky over my neighbor’s house. I don’t know what was hatching out over there but those swallows worked that patch intensively for a good hour or more. I hope it was mosquitoes. Anyway, I sat out there and watched them for a long time. It was fascinating to see how so many of them managed to hunt, eat, fly and not crash into each other in so small a space. I love swallows.

    It’s very quiet here for a Saturday. It’s also very dingy outside. There was a tiny thunder storm very early this morning with a dribble of rain. Now and then a stray drop will fall. Altogether a Meh kind of day.

    Enjoy the evening.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      My school shoes had laces but my good shoes (read dressy) had buckles. I don’t own a single pair of shoes which have laces. They are all slip ons. In summer-sandals; in winter-wool clogs. I have some really old sneakers, but they are so far back in the closet I haven’t worn them for a long time. They are brightly colored Converse.

      I had to learn to coordinate the two oars. I figured out how they worked, in the water to propel the boat, but it took a bit for me to put them deep enough in the water to go far.

      I never see swallows around here. I don’t know why. I too hope they were mosquitos. EEE is around so the more eaten the better.

      The same sort of day here. Every now and then there is a cool breeze but when there isn’t, it’s humid and warm. No rain but it looked like it would come a few times when it got windy.

      I’m watching the Sox.

      Have a great evening!!

  6. Coleen Burnett Says:

    Hey Kat!

    I do hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend. Weather is mostly cloudy and humid here, with a threat of thunderstorms. It has been a blah summer in terms of tourism here, and I think most merchants are rather disappointed with the numbers. I bet you have seen those “Stronger than the storm” ads that are ALL OVER the TV and radio down here. Most residents are sick of them, and the Gov has assured us they will end soon…

    It took me a long time to tie my shoes because I was so uncoordinated. Did get the hang of it eventually…zippers were a piece of cake, unless the teeth got stripped or sometimes the zipper would pull away from the fabric…

    I have never learned to row a boat…you’re ahead of me on that one! 🙂

    And I fondly remember the World Book…my grandmother bought a set for me in about 6th grade. It was the kind of expense you had to think about because they cost a bit of money. Each year they also sold a Yearbook to try and keep a set somewhat updated…lol!

    This last thought makes me laugh, because I recently got a little job with a small local weekly, and it takes me two seconds to find information that back in the day would take a week! I love the internet!

    Waving with a newspaper in my hand…


    P.S. – – Would like to friend you on Facebook, if possible. I could not seem to find you, but that may be something deliberate on your part seeing as how you are a famous blogger. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Hi Coleen,
      I’m still chuckling over famous blogger: try hunting on Facebook for Kathleen Ryan. My picture is of me in Africa waving at the camera.

      It has been a great summer down here. Tourists have been all over the place. The Sunday line to go over the bridge is always miles long, but I don’t think it will be too long a wait tomorrow as this has been an awful weather weekend-no sun at all.

      I doubt rowing a boat is a talent in much use any more. I remember on The Amazing Race they had to row and most of the teams didn’t know how. Some used the oars like paddles. It was humorous.

      I think my mother paid 99 cents per volume every time she went shopping. We got a set of plates the same way.

      I love the internet and how quickly I can find what I need. I also love hunting the same way I hunted through those encyclopedias.

      Waving from a cloudy, damp cape!!

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