“Straw met camel’s back. Breaking commenced.”

The sun is melting some of the ice and snow, but the shaded areas are still slick. I had to take mincing steps this morning on the icy street to get yesterday’s mail from my box. My front path and back steps are clear. This morning I put more deicer on the back steps so they won’t get slippery. I worry about Gracie. She and I are tied. We have each fallen once down those stairs. She was fine, but I got knocked out when I hit the ground. I’d like to keep it a tie.

The snow is melting off the branches and falling in clumps. I’m hoping the sun will beam its rays and melt the branches on my deck so they can bounce upright again. This happened one other time, and I used a broom stick to try to clear the branches. The snow fell on me. Now I’ll just wait for the sun.

Another storm is coming though the weatherman is not exactly sure which day yet. He is leaning toward Monday into Tuesday. I think the cause of all of this was our reveling in a warm winter with no snow. It was a jinx. We should have knocked on wood.

The knock on wood got me to thinking. Step on a crack, break your mother’s back was a kid’s idiom in my day. I don’t think I believed it, but I didn’t dare test fate so I jumped over any and all cracks. Idioms come and go with the times. You sound like a broken record makes no sense to kids today, but I heard it many times from my mother when I’d bug her for something I wanted. On the flip side goes along with the broken record. I don’t even remember the last time I heard either of those. I don’t know why saying it was a piece of cake came to mean it was easy. When my sisters bothered me, I told them to take a hike. They never did. They told my mother I was being mean.

Some sayings made no sense to me and some still don’t. Bob’s your uncle is one of them. Others have no relevance to life today. Nobody burns the midnight oil anymore. We just leave the lights on. Only Mr. Ed spoke so none of us really heard it straight from the horse’s mouth. I was a little older when I finally figured out if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. I thought it was cruel to keep the cat in a bag and was glad when it was freed.

Once we were interviewing a candidate for a secretarial position. Someone asked a question and she replied, “You’ve hit the nose right on the head.” I had to leave the room.

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12 Comments on ““Straw met camel’s back. Breaking commenced.””

  1. Richard Says:

    No snow to melt here – and whatever’s coming seems to be nothing more than a ‘dusting,’ so no excitement there, either. Falls aren’t good … they scare the hell out of me, even tho’ I know how to fall properly (no, that’s not an oxymoron). A fall at any age is no fun, but as we start Hobblin’ Down The Bunny Trail, falls take on an outsized risk level that’s best eliminated whenever possible.

    The trees here do that ‘bend-to-the-ground’ trick you describe whenever we have any significant snowfall. The tall cedars’ pointy top bends way over and reminds me of Trump’s fake hair when the wind blows. God, he’s a nasty, unpleasant, ignorant, and tasteless little man. He’s walking proof that money can’t buy class.

    We get our next ‘storm’ sometime early in the week. I keep hoping against hope it’ll be a big one, but I know it won’t be. I’ve learnt to temper my expectations. It would have been just as easy to type ‘expectorations,’ but that would have changed the meaning of the entire thought.

    I still remember the line about ‘step on a crack,’ and still, for some reason, avoid stepping on cracks in the pavement to this day. No, it’s not superstitious ‘cuz I don’t believe in that stuff … it’s probably all linked to early childhood toilet training or something equally mysterious.

    Idiomatic speech is one of the hardest things to incorporate into the learning of any foreign language, just as it is for them to comprehend our idioms when learning English. I’m not sure if today’s kids would understand a revision of the idiom to ‘you sound like a broken CD’ … they’d just look at you funny and shake their head …

    Took me years to understand what ‘Bob’s your uncle’ meant … Mom used to use the ‘wishes were horses’ one on us and we probably gave her the ‘Whaaaa?’ look at the time … all of which leads up to the eventual (but ever-so-avoidable) pointless use of language: Nonsense-speak. How high is a mouse when it does? Three feet six inches exactly, because a banana has no hair. Or: How many pancakes can you stack on top of a doghouse? Exactly eighteen, because pineapples have no bones.

    I’d have had to leave the room too after hearing about hitting the nose on the head …

    • katry Says:

      All day long clumps of snow fell. It was like a sort of weird snow storm. The branches on the deck are higher in the air than they were. The bending happens only with wet, heavy snow. The amount doesn’t matter, just the consistency.

      I fall a lot. When I was around 9 or 10 I was groggy and fell down the stairs instead of going into the bathroom. I opened a huge gash on my chin when I hit a table at the bottom landing. That was the first time.

      A long hiatus between falls. I think decades, but now I fall a bit more with only one causing a major injury. I am so careful now.

      You’ll get no argument from me about Trump.

      You just have to keep moving north if you want tremendous snow storms. Flurries leave about 4 inches and nobody seems to shovel or plow. It’s too small an amount. 5 seems to be the magic number.

      I think it is superstition not to step on a crack. You can blame toilet training but I think not.

      Idioms live for a while then die away. I’m sure there are many current ones which I don’t know and old idioms which have just faded away like the broken record one. I can’t remember the favorite nonsense-speak we used all the time. They were funny.

      I think I pretended I was coughing when I ran out of the room.

  2. Hedley Says:

    I’m hanging with the Prince.

    We watched Tottenham win for the 6th time in a row and move up to second. We took a ride to Tony’s Shoe repair and then on to Metamora to our framing shop. We have just walked for 30 minutes and will head in to Rochester for an early evening burger

    I am Pumpa.

    • katry Says:

      Dear Pumpa,
      That’s a fun Saturday!

      Six games in a row? I am impressed by our team. Do you still call Tony a cobbler?

      • Hedley Says:

        Tony is from italy and has repaired shoes for many years. His children do not want to take over his business so one day he will go away which is very sad

        I needed new boot laces and he immediately told me off as the boots were not polished. He took care of that.

        Tony and I talked about our old countries and then I went home to watch Spurs.

      • katry Says:

        We used to have a cobbler. His store was long other than wide. The counter went from back of the store to almost the front. He always wore an apron. Shoes in pairs covered the counter. He was the town’s cobbler.

  3. flyboybob Says:

    My mother used to say the same things as your mother when I was a kid including some in Yiddish that she got from her mother when she was young. One of them was translated something like, “Don’t hit my tea kettle” It meant don’t bug me in English. My father’s favorite was, “Go defecate in the ocean” when I was bugging him for something. In other words your pleas will have the same effect on me as going to the bathroom would have on the ocean. 🙂

    After my father died I inherited his record collection and my son was about four years old. He used to refer to them as “black CDs”. He also enjoyed playing with my dad’s portable manual typewriter which he used to call “the ancient word processor”.

    Except for the half time show I really don’t care about the Super Bowl game tomorrow. I can watch all the commercials on Youtube right now. Fifty years ago I watched the first Super Bowl game which wasn’t even called that yet. It was the Packers against the KC Chiefs. The story goes that Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Packers, crawled into bed one cold February night in Green Bay. His wife remarked, ‘god your feet are cold’ to which he replied, ‘in bed you can call me Vince’.

    Today was mostly cloudy and cool with highs in the low 50s.

    • katry Says:

      I believe every new mother gets the handbook on popular and annoying things to say to your kids. Mine never said what yours did but my mother’s meant the same as your mother’s.

      That’s funny-your son naming the old things with new terms. He did well.

      I don’t care about the game either. If the Pats were playing, it would be different. I am a great fan of all my home teams.


      • Bob Says:

        Thanks for link. I was never a big football fan except when the Dallas Cowboys were in the big game. Actually the real big game was the ice bowl on December 31, 1967. The Cowboys played and lost to the Packers for the NFL championship in -15 F degree weather in Green Bay Wisconsin. I believe that had the Cowboys won that game and went on to defeat Oakland in Super Bowl II the trophy might be called the Landry trophy. BTW the first two games weren’t called Super Bowl.

      • katry Says:

        You’re welcome!

        I knew the first two were not Super Bowls. Somehow I remembered that.

        I’m not really a huge fan. I only watch games in which I have an interest.

  4. olof1 Says:

    We finally got some rain yesterday but it was a sort of half hearted drizzle. The snow is long gone here but I realized that there still was ice on the roads, covered enough with some dust so it couldn’t be seen but it was still very slippery :.-)

    We’ll have above 32 temperatures all week and mostly cloudy with some rain passing by, it is like a late autumn week or early spring week we’ll have in front of us.

    We too avoided the cracks in the roads but I can’t for my life remember what would happen if we did 🙂 if something is easy here we say lätt som en plätt and that is something like light as a tiny pancake 🙂 Easy and light is the same word for us in Swedish and a plätt is more or less a pancake but just the quarter of the size.

    Here we hit the head on the nail instead but it means just the same as the nose on the head. I still remember all these but son´me just sound very strange if I would translate them in to English 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      The snow is still here though it is falling off the tree limbs, many of which are still covered. It will melt just in time for the next storm.

      It will mostly be a chilly week. February is never a great month for weather.

      I like that-light as a tiny pancake. It is a very visual simile.

      Here we also hit the nail on the head. The reason I left the room is the woman used nose instead of nail. I knew if I stayed I’d start laughing at the visual of the hammer hitting the woman’s nose.

      Enjoy your Sunday!

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