“You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead.”

The morning is overcast. A slight breeze blows every now and then, but the breeze does little in the humid, hot air. It is 79˚, a cool day, at least in comparison. My friend Bill commented about the heat. He brought me back to Ghana when he remembered one day during the dry season when it was already 110˚ in the classroom at 8:00. I do remember those days. The only fan I had was human-propelled. I used to take my shower, always cold water, just before bed and never towel dried. I’d throw on my robe, go inside and go to bed still wet from the shower. I felt cool. Illusionary? Probably.

The day is so very quiet. The heavy air dulls sounds. I don’t even hear the birds. Both dogs are asleep, Henry on the floor and Nala beside me on the couch. I have nothing planned to do today. My back is protesting all the work of the last few days. It hurts but only when I move.

Two things have died, my basil and the H on my keyboard. The basil is easy, the keyboard not so easy. I figure I planted the basil too close together so I’ll buy more basil and singly plant them in clay pots. As for the h, I wrote both small and capital H’s on a new note, always kept open so I can copy and paste. Somehow that feels archaic.

When I was a kid, we used pencils in the first two grades. My pencil boxes always came with an eraser, a pink eraser. It quickly became my go to eraser because the ones on my pencils got used so often they sometimes didn’t erase but left black marks or tore holes in my papers. The pencils wore down and needed sharpening but, luckily, that pencil box came with a small sharpener. I remember one year it was yellow. Every time I used it, I had to put a paper under the sharpener to catch the shavings. I used to sharpen so much I sometimes broke the point as soon as I used it so it was back to the sharpener. The pencils became stubs.

I use pencils still, but they seldom last to the stub point. Nala steals them and chews them into small pieces. I hide them but sometimes don’t remember the last hiding place because I use so many places hoping to keep everything out of the clutches of my consummate thief. My current pencil has Jack-o-lanterns on it, wrong season but darn festive.

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6 Comments on ““You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Today might be the day that breaks the triple digit 20 day streak with a forecast high of a cool 99°. The sky has been partly cloudy since morning with a slight chance of some rain. There is some rain to our north about 90 miles in Oklahoma. The weak front which is meandering southward might cause some rain showers to drift south towards the DFW Metroplex. I have my both fingers and my toes crossed. 🙂

    When I was a kid I loved to draw pictures using pencils. My go to pencil was the number two, I had to have a supply of them for school, so I also used them to draw pictures when the teacher wasn’t looking. Because I learned to write incorrectly for a left handed person, I always had a graphite smear on the outer edge of my left hand. Unfortunately, the “Law of Primacy” makes it nearly impossible to change my first grade learned behavior at 75. 🙂 I always was drawing airplanes and airports. Also, I built many plastic airplane models which I hung from the ceiling after running out of book shelf space in my room. Also, our various cleaning ladies somehow managed to break them while dusting. Hanging them from the ceiling removed the breakage rate.

    I’ve tried using mechanical pencils with mixed results. Today I hand write very few things and type everything else on a computer or my iPad. This allows be to decipher my sentences after 30 minutes has elapsed. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      I hope you got the rain. It must have helped cool down the day if only for a little. We haven’t had rain in a long time. Everything is so very dry.

      I think the only pencil any of us had was a number 2. It was the one we used for the SAT test. Even now, it is the one students have to use for state testing. We bought them already sharpened.

      My brother used to put those model planes together too. He also hung them from the ceiling as he had no room on his bureau. It is no surprise to me that you drew airplanes and airports.

      I remember the weird arm angles of kids in my class who were left handed. Their hands were curved. I can’t imagine learning to write a different way after all this time for you.

      I write lists on sticky paper and put them in front of me on my table so I can update them. I also use a pencil to complete the Wordle puzzle of the day. That is the only way I can work it.

  2. Christer. Says:

    We’ve just went through a three day heat wave here, yesterday it reached 96,4F and I never want to go through those temperatures again! Today it is much, much cooler but the flies are insane and the thunder never comes to use, it’s all around but not here. The temperature the coming ten days will stay just around 68, if they are right in their guessing 🙂 🙂

    Didn’t You have another letter that died on Your laptop a few years back? It happened to me as well at the same time. I think it was my “w” that gave up. It was actually Bertil the cat that killed it, he ripped it off with his claws 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!


    • katry Says:

      I Christer,
      To have the temperature be 68˚ would be a dream. I love days in the high 60’s or low 70’s. Today was too hot. The next few days will ne really hot, close to 90˚. I think I’ll be in staying cool with the AC. No rain is in the forecast.

      Great memory! I did have keys which stopped working. I brought it to a computer place, and the machine was still under warranty so Apple put in a new keyboard. I guess I use the h more than other keys. It is so inconvenient. I would try too pull out the h, but I’m afraid I’d break it.

      Enjoy your Saturday!!

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