Posted tagged ‘Saturday errands’

“If you want a neat wife, choose her on a Saturday”

August 12, 2014

I know it’s late, but I met an old friend for lunch. He found me on Facebook and we decided to get together. It was a great day of drinking coffee, eating lunch and catching up with one another. I haven’t seen him in years so we had a lot of this and a lot of that to share.

Yesterday the red spawn lost its mind. I know this because it kept coming back to the feeder despite being hosed by me with the nozzle on jet. I was inside when I first heard the red spawn chatting, clicking and yelling at something so I went outside to investigate. It was on the feeder. I streamed the hose water, and it ran. I sat for a few minutes, and it came back to the feeder. I let him have it again, and he got soaked but not enough to deter him because he came back from a different direction. His spawn brain must have thought I wouldn’t figure that one out. He got squirted then jumped on branches close to me. I actually wondered if he was headed to get me, but when I hosed again, the spawn finally left the yard to go next door. It was chattering the whole while, and I have a feeling he was talking about me.

Today is another lovely day. It is about 76˚ and sunny. Tomorrow it will rain but then on Thursday we’ll be back to another beautiful summer day. We have been spoiled by the perfect weather this season: warm days and cool nights.

When I was young, I really didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to time especially in summer when one day was the same as another. The only exceptions were, of course, the weekends. On Saturday my dad was home. He did yard stuff like mowing and raking and also went up town to do his own errands: shirts to the Chinese laundry, a trim at the barber shop and a stop to say hello to his friend Pulo, the pharmacist in his own drugstore. Once in a while my dad asked me to come, and I would. I liked the Chinese laundry even though it was always hot and steamy. The double ironing board, with a top and bottom, was by the window, and the Chinese laundry man was always ironing pants. He’d hold the top down and steam would shoot out from the sides. He’d then lift the top, turn the pants over, close the machine and steam would shoot out again. I loved watching that machine. My dad’s shirts were always folded and wrapped in brown paper. From the laundry, we’d walk a little bit to the barber shop. Years later I realized that Floyd in Mayberry could very well have worked at my dad’s barber shop. It had only two seats and one barber. All the men sat waiting and chatting with each other. I stood and watched the barber trim my dad’s hair then my dad and I headed over to Pulo’s. While my dad and Mr. Pulo talked, I was given a drink from the soda fountain, usually a vanilla coke. Pulo’s was a small drug store, and there were only four stools at the fountain. Mr. Pulo always wore a white coat and would step from behind the pharmacy part of the store to talk to my dad. That was our last stop. My dad and I would walk back to the car and we’d go home. It didn’t matter how many times I went with my dad on Saturdays because I loved every time as if it were the first.

“How strange it is to view a town you grew up in, not in wonderment through the eyes of youth, but with the eyes of a historian on the way things were.”

August 24, 2013

The morning is delightfully chilly. The sun, though, is warm and has drawn Fern and the dog to the mat by the front door. The deck is in shadows so I stayed inside to read the papers. My lawn got cut this morning. The noise scares Fern so she sits on the floor between my feet until the lawn is done. The deck cleaning is after the lawn and that noise is right by the window in here so Fern runs for cover. Now that everything is quiet she’s asleep in the warmth of the morning sun.

My mother did her grocery shopping on Friday evenings. She didn’t learn to drive until she was in her late 30’s so she had to be driven to the store by my dad. The weekend was always errand and chore time for my dad. Taking my mother was first on his list. We always liked   their going grocery shopping because cookies and treats were back in the house. Though they never lasted long, it was still nice having them for a while. Oreos were a staple, no fancy double stuffed or orange at Halloween, just your regular Oreos. My sisters were famous for eating just the middles and feeding the rest to Duke, our dog, a Boxer of course. He knew to stay close to my two sisters.

Saturdays my dad went uptown in the mornings to drop off his shirts at the Chinaman and to get a trim at the barber shop. It was a small shop with either two or three chairs. I can’t remember which. After an Italian deli opened up, my dad would stop there to buy cold cuts. The place was called Angelos.

I swear my dad knew at least half the town. He had lived there since high school, was an usher at church and was also a member of the Red Men; he was even Sachem once. It was an all male club which had meetings and did some charitable stuff but mostly I think it was a place for guys to get together and have a few drinks. The Red Men building was a nondescript gray square with only a door in the front. It was on a side street and had an unpaved parking lot beside it. You had to know what it was because the front gave no inkling. The downstairs was for drinking while the upstairs was for rent, and I remember going there many times. We even had my aunt the nun’s anniversary there. I think it was her 50th.

The Red Men building was razed as were several others including the Chinaman’s laundry when that part of uptown became the victim of beautification. The town built a park and a parking lot where those buildings used to stand. I was sorry to see them go. The ones on the Main Street were not the prettiest, and they needed some tender care, but they were old and had been a part of the town for decades. A bit of local color disappeared for the sake of beautification. I figure that’s the definition of irony.