“When life gives you lemons, order the lobster tail.”

Yesterday I did my laundry. I also dry mopped the downstairs floors, especially the corners where puffs of white fur seem to hide and grow bigger. I ordered dog food on-line, but today I’m going to Agway for the cat food and litter and whatever catches my eye as something always does. Last time it was a new bird feeder and three small plants since potted and moved to the dining room window sill. I haven’t put the bird feeder out yet. It has been too cold. It is now at the top of my to do the list but not today. It is colder than yesterday.

My life continues to be quiet. I talk to my sisters and that’s about it. I don’t go out often. Usually I save all my errands to do in one day except for the trash. Trash has its own day.

When I was a kid, I never saw our town dump. I didn’t even know we had one. The weekly trash truck picked up everything, even the things they weren’t supposed to, the dump things, but a six pack always eased the forbidden trash into the truck. I remember a chair stuffed into the back of the truck.

When I was a kid, the square in my town, we always called it uptown, had wonderfully, amazing smells and sounds. Just before the movie theater was a set of stairs going below the square. When the door opened, I could hear the sounds of bowling balls and pins dropping. It was a bowling alley and a pool hall. I never went there. None of us did. It was a mysterious place where we figured the leather jacket crowd hung out. I don’t know if that’s true. Maybe it was a rumor spread to keep kids out of there. It worked. We went to the big bowling alley or the one at Redstone Shopping Center.

I remember the smell of popcorn popping. Somewhere behind the square was a candy making building. The aroma of fresh bread wafted from Hank’s Bakery. The fish market had a gross smell, a combination of smells of fish, dead and on ice, and salt water, but standing on the sidewalk in front of the fish market was worth tolerating the smell because the fish market had a great window. Lobsters swam in a tank you could see. I always watched. The lobsters never did anything. They just stayed on the bottom, but I watched anyway. That’s how I learned lobsters are bottom-feeders.

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8 Comments on ““When life gives you lemons, order the lobster tail.””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I don’t remember the subterranean bowling alley/pool hall but I do remember the other two. My uncle lived on a street that was behind the bowling alley that was near Elm St/Main St intersection. I never went in that one. I did go to the one in Redstone but I don’t remember if it was candlepin or 10 pin bowling. We took my California cousins to that one and to the one in Wakefield. The California cousins never got the hang of candlepin bowling.
    I saw my town dump a lot. It was within kid roaming territory and easy to reach by going through the woods and over the wood plank across the Mill “River” (5 feet wide and not very deep). We were dedicated dump pickers. I still have a faux Paul Revere silver plated bowl picked from there. It cleaned up very nicely.

    Fur is a constant presence. I vacuumed a couple of days ago because every time I opened the front door the light would pick out all the accumulated fur along the baseboards and in the corners. Two days later it looks like it was never touched. Fortunately (or not) the prevailing draft in the house corrals the fur in the same few places so I know exactly where to go with the vacuum.

    Now I want lobster. 😀

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      The pool room glass door was on the right side of the movie theater as you looked with the street behind you. The two bowling alleys you mentioned were candlepin. I don’t know of any ten pin in Stoneham while I was there.

      I wish I had known of the town dump though people “in the know” said scrounging there was bad. They could have been telling the truth or they could have been lying. Who knows? Down here even scrounged items are expensive in thrift shops.

      Here in, the den, the puffs of fur are fist size where Henry walks and then down the hall to the back door. I’m forever cleaning. As with you, the area looks as if it had never been touched.

      Take care.

      Hmmm, lobster!!

  2. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    I didn’t realize that lobsters were bottom feeders. I just never gave them any thought where they livid in the ocean they were alive.

    When you mentioned the downstairs bowling alley and pool hall in your town, it reminded me of the song you posted the other day, “Green Room”. Obviously, they must be having fun in that room. 🙂

    Today is again like yesterday except for the chance of rain. Yesterday, we had a couple of hours with a nice steady downpour.

    Last night on the news I heard that the vaccine distribution center where we got our shots yesterday will be closed today because of lack of doses. Sometimes I would rather be lucky than smart.

    I have a real nice problem. Without Trump, there’s nothing to complain about on this or any other blog and things feel normal again. Therefore, my replies to your posts are probably going to be shorter. 🙁

    • Bob Says:

      Oops, it’s not “Green Room”, it’s “Green Door”, sorry.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      You never see the wooden lobster traps. Buoys mark where a fisherman set his traps. The buoys are attached by rope to the traps on the bottom of the ocean where the lobsters are.

      We just listened to kids’ gossip. I have no idea who bowled or played pool there.

      We had a few minutes of snow flurries today. It has been that cold all day.

      I am still not among the people getting my vaccine. They figure March. I’ll be stuck inside another month and a half. At this rate I’ll forget how to speak!!

      I can rant at hearing there was no stockpile of vaccine. He lied. Big surprise!

  3. Sheila Says:

    Went googling for Milty’s, Kat, and found this little tidbit from Fred, who also grew up in Stoneham around the same time – he was on his way to get a “wiffle” and this happened (sounds like we were right to never go down those stairs) . . . “No time for sentimental memories. Not now as I approach the square proper where the rube meets the rogues. Stoneham’s town toughs all hang out at Milty’s pool hall and bowling alley, a subterranean holding cell adjacent to our local movie theater. I must pass directly in front of the entrance where Milty’s miscreants typically parole – I mean patrol – between felonies. If I can meek my way past the ball and chain gang, John DeVita’s barbershop and my hard-earned haircut are just a wiff away.

    Sure enough, holding up the wall in front of Milty’s lair are two of Stoneham’s summa cum louses, Danny MacDonald and Wayne Donnelly. Dan once kicked a teacher in the crotch for waking him up in Biology class (she’ll never do that again); and Waynzo was famous for showing up for his initial day of school sophomore year, after skipping the entire first two weeks, only to discover that – due to the annual teacher’s convention – school was closed that day.

    Either of these guys could play hacky-smack with my ball sack if they were in the mood. As I got closer, I could feel their dead black eyes feastering on the poor little lamb nearing them. Time to go into my limp.

    But then – a miracle! Who should be coming out of A&K Jewelers a couple of doors down? My new best – and as yet unabducted – friend, Miss Barbara Douglas!

    Her attractive distraction allowed me to hobble (remember, I’m doing my best Actor’s Studio shamble here) directly past the testosterone twins who are now totally consumed with ogling the shapely Barbara, the answer to my preyers, while ignoring me completely. There is a bod!”

    • katry Says:

      Oh, my God, Sheila, this is wonderful. Our suspicious are confirmed. We were right to avoid that place. I didn’t even know it had a name. I remember the barber shop he mentioned. I remember the pole. Wiffles were the favored summer haircuts. I haven’t heard about wiffles in a long while.

      Thanks for finding this!!


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