“Smoke. Smoke. Smoke. Only a pipe distinguishes man from beast.”

My lateness is because I had my first physical therapy for my finger today. Most of the session was measuring the finger and getting a baseline. I also got a couple of exercises to do every day to help with movement. The therapist said the swelling is from the tendon which had been damaged. I am now scheduled for two sessions a week for six weeks.

Today is closer to early summer than late fall. It is 70°. The light is brilliant. The breeze is slight, a leaf rustler. My flannel shirt was too warm. On the road, I opened the car windows just to have warm fresh air, sweet fresh air. It was a delightful ride.

Weird thing on my way to Orleans: in the middle of nowhere was a porta-potty, a blue one standing tall in front of pine trees. There was no road repair or rest area near it. I thought perhaps it was another incarnation of the Tardis. I should have stopped to check.

At the rehab spot, the woman checking me in asked if she could tell me something. I nodded. She told me that I had made her a reader, that she had taken my science fiction class and fell in love with Dune. After that she read all of the Dune novels then just kept reading. I can’t think of a higher compliment.

My grandfather smoked a pipe. In the sunroom of his house, on the table, was a pipe holder. It was round and swiveled open. He had five or six pipes resting beside each other. I remember the smell of tobacco.

My grandmother, the one who lived with the pipe smoker, smelled of flowers, mostly lavender. She was Edith Bunker before there was an Edith Bunker. She was tall, taller than my grandfather, and walked with a stoop. She always wore a bibbed apron. She cooked and took care of the house. She shopped up the street at the First National. She always used a cart and pulled it behind her. I doubt my grandmother ever voted, but if she did, I think my grandfather told her how she should vote. When I was in the Peace Corps, my grandmother sent me a few letters, in the US version of an aerogram. She always tucked in a dollar though the directions were not to put anything in the aerogram. I was glad for the dollar.

My dance card is empty.

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2 Comments on ““Smoke. Smoke. Smoke. Only a pipe distinguishes man from beast.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Glad to hear that your physical therapy visit went well. Also, meeting a former student is always rewarding. I have run into former students and their professional success in aviation always makes me feel proud of them and of my teaching career.

    This afternoon we experienced a couple of lines of severe thunderstorms that destroyed property in East Texas but so far there have been no deaths. We picked up over three inches of rain today. The temperature should reach 67° tomorrow with a low of 49°. Remember to change your clocks forward an hour tomorrow night.

    Unfortunately, I smoked both cigarettes and pipes for many years and my lungs have suffered as a result of my addiction. My father also smoked both pipes and cigarettes. If the medical profession decided that smoking is not bad for my health, I would go back to pipe smoking. I really enjoyed it even though it’s a nasty habit.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      I feel the same way about my students. I run into them all over the cape. They always stop to chat. Considering more time was spent being the disciplinarian rather than the teacher, I’m always glad kids stop to talk and have fond memories of the time we spent together.

      I saw the wicked Texas weather on the national news channel. They had pictures of the sky, and it was dreadful and dark. We will have weather into the 70’s over the weekend, including the possibility of a new record on Sunday.

      Thanks for the reminder. I think I have only two clocks I have to turn back.

      I also smoked cigarettes but stopped many years ago. I had bronchitis every fall, and that was enough. My two sisters still smoke but they always go outside if they visit.

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