Born Again

Some of you who know me, no doubt will do a double take. “It can’t be the Mike Foley I know.” Well, if you’re thinking in a religious sense, you’d be partially right, but let me say, I am a believer—and a regular church goer.

I labored most of my life under a Damoclean sword. The sword, being a heart murmur I’d had for most of my life. When I was 40, I wanted to prepare myself for the “end“. I felt that it was only right that I do what I could for my family’s future. I thought I needed to visit a doctor, and have him once and for all let me know…”Just how many years do I have left?….That is, providing my time left could be measured in years.

I looked healthy.

At 10 I looked healthy.

It was near my birthday in 1977, when I made my appointment with fate.

I dreaded the doctor visit, but, I sucked it up, and was in the doc’s waiting room at the appointed time. Our family practitioner, Dr. LeCavelier, a French Canadian, spoke with a very pronounced accent. He’d treated my family for their ills, but never me.

I’m not going to go into detail, but by the time the procedure had reached the: “Put your clothes back on, Mike.” stage, I was surprised that he hadn’t uttered a few, “tsk, tsks”, accompanied with a pitying look. I felt I knew the problem better than he, so, I casually mentioned: “Well, doc, I guess you heard my heart murmur.” His reaction was not what I expected; he looked puzzled. “No, Mike, I deedn’t hear zee heart murmere.” I went on to explain. “Well then, you must have missed it, because I’ve had a murmur for years; in fact, I wasn’t able to participate in Phys Ed classes in school, and I was classified “4-F” when I registered for the military draft.”

“Take off zee shirt, I weel sheck you again.” I removed my shirt, and he carefully listened to my innards once more. After he replaced the stethoscope around his neck, he told me: “Mike, zere is no heart murmere, your heart, eet sound perfectly normal.” I was stunned. It took a minute for me to digest what he’d just said. “Do you mean that I could pass an insurance physical?” I asked incredulously. “Yes, Mike, you could.” I went on down a list of previously banned activities. When I mentioned jogging, even then, he saw no problem.

“Are you absolutely sure? I just can’t believe that my murmur is gone.” He went on to reassure me: “I will schedule you for de EKG.” The next day, in a cardiologist’s office, I was hooked up to an EKG machine. When the technician finished, she quipped: “I’ve seen worse”. “Ok“, thought I, “just how much worse?”

Dr. LeCavelier called me later that afternoon, to give me the results: Mike, don’ worry, your heart is perfectly normal.” And, with a pat on my shoulder, he added: “Now’ you go an’ have de happy birday.” When I returned home, Sharon had the champagne chilled, and we toasted our good fortune—-several times.

It was a very happy birthday, and I was truly, born again

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Bet You Thought I Was Irish

I’ve labored most of my life under the assumption that I was Irish.

Tough to do since my Father, Ted Foley, was mostly Portuguese, with just a smattering of Irish, contributed from his father, (Pinkney Pearl Foley, (his real name, I kid you not), whose Irish connection in the US of A, goes back to the early 1700’s when some eager beaver Foley first arrived on Columbia’s shore.

Seems that through the years, the Irish genes have been diluted, until about all that is left is just the Foley name, although, I’m sure that there were more than a few Irish genetic contributors from the feminine side of the Foley tree.

I’ve been perfectly content to be considered Irish, and over the years have perfected a pretty fair Irish brogue; at least to ears on this side of the Atlantic.

It's not me, but could be...

It’s not me, but could be…

I no doubt would have developed a knack for schoolyard fisticuffs, had my mother not abruptly ended my Irish connection when I was a mere babe, and married a Scot. Most of us know that there is a lot more to the differences between the two Gaelic factions than which side invented the bagpipe, (obviously it was the Irish) or who brews the best whiskey.

At my age, there wasn’t much I could say about the situation, and I suppose for convenience sake, Mom felt that it only right that I shed my surname, and substitute that of my step-dad’s; McClellan. For the next 15 years, I was Scottish.

Seems that assumed names weren’t what the Draft Board were used to accepting, and I quickly became Irish once more. That should have made everything hunky-dory, but there was a fly in the genetic ointment; the Portuguese limb of the family tree.

Seems my grandma Foley was Portuguese through and through, so, her Mediterranean genes had trumped grandpa Foley’s diluted Irish connection.

What I’m trying to say is; I’m afraid that this St. Patrick’s day, you may find me dancing a Portuguese Fandango instead of an Irish jig, and in lieu of green beer, I may be knocking back a goatskin of homemade wine.

Sorry.

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Ooops!

Some time ago, a friend, Kay, suggested I write of a few of the embarrassing moments we encounter in our lives. Most, we laugh about now, but at the time they occurred; well, maybe not so much.

originalIf you’re of the male persuasion, perhaps you’ve heard an attention getting “pssst” followed by a raised eyebrow, a meaningful gesture, and a whispered: “The barn door is open!” You then attempt to correct the problem without attracting further attention. Possibly it’s just a subtle motion your mate makes, indicating there is something stuck to your teeth, cheek, or nose. Again, one tries to rectify the situation, without making it worse.

Many years ago, Sharon and I were living in Boise, Idaho, raising our brood of youngsters, and hoping for an occasional dose of adult company. We became acquainted with the parents of a boy down the street, who played with our eldest, Pat. The boy’s mother, Barbara, was a tall, sophisticated woman, and she and her equally refined husband George, hobnobbed with the movers and shakers of Boise’s upper crust.

We became acquainted, and over the period of a year or so, shared a few meals in some of Boise’s restaurants, went to movies together, and occasional dinners at each other’s homes.

The first time we were invited to George and Barbara’s for dinner, my beloved wasted no time getting her husband primed for the occasion; “Keep you shirt tucked in, don’t monopolize the conversation, (me?) and mind your manners.” Thus prepared, we walked down the block at the pre-determined time, and rang the doorbell. When our hostess ushered us into their cozy home, we were greeted with hugs, a bit of Mozart, soft chairs, and, a glass of wine.

We settled in, and as the wine was decanted into some beautiful stemware, Barbara told the story behind her glassware; “It’s was an heirloom, handed down to me from my grandmother.” she continued: “The pattern is almost impossible to get anymore, I only use it for special occasions.” I was quite puffed up to think our visit was considered noteworthy.

I took the fragile bit of glass up in my rather clumsy set of 10 thumbs, and looked it over. It was obviously much more expensive than the barrel glasses used down the street at the Foleys. It was when I placed the glass back on the table that I found that it really was fragile; for in one ham fisted motion, I instantly turned the heirloom into junk. Barbara was quick to reassure me that it was no big deal; her grandmother had been dead for years, and she doubted Granny would know of the broken glass.

From an awkward situation, Barb swept the discomfort away, and soon, ushered us into the dining room for dinner. You‘ll be pleased to know that I wasn’t seated in the corner, but was given a spot at the table with the adults. Mexican food was on the menu, and the dinner beverage was beer.

I watched as she reached into her china closet, and selected a couple of slender, fragile, Pilsner glasses. She paused; glanced at me, replaced the glasses, and instead, pulled down four pewter mugs.

I understood.

So, should you be anticipating a visit from the Foley’s, not to worry; I’ll bring my own barrel glass.

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Torture Chamber

It began with a shriek; as if someone; a child, was being flayed without benefit of anesthetic. I looked around, expecting to see something horrible, instead, saw nothing but other diners, who for the most part seemed as perplexed as I. They searched as well, hoping to determine who or what was the source of the ungodly screams.

Does this kid look, or sound familiar?

Does this kid look, or sound familiar?

It was a child—at least I assumed it was a child, and not a midget, that had donned a kid’s clothing, and was determined to ruin as many dining experiences as possible. The table where she was seated, was populated by a variety of humankind; several adults, and other children of grade school age. It seemed to me, and to the others in the place who were being audibly tortured, that instead of silencing the racket, it was being tolerated—possibly even being encouraged, because not once during or after many 300 decibel outbursts, was an attempt made to shut up the howler.

This went on for a good half hour, and during one impressive aria, I spotted a gentleman about my age, (who rolled his eyes as he passed our table) slipped out to regain his composure. When he returned, a little less tense, he was welcomed with a scream.

Thinking back an eon or two, when Sharon and I were raising our brood, that type of display wasn’t tolerated. Period. The offender would be ushered out, and if of an age to understand what was what, wasn’t allowed back inside until the tantrum was over. If it was an infant who was creating the scene, then one of us would take the baby outside until it quieted.

During a church service seems to be a time when junior vocalists attempt to gain attention with a variety of howls. It is appreciated when a parent takes the child out, to quiet it down, but there are the others, who like the table of hearing deprived diners ignores the racket, lets the kid scream, with no thought to those around them. Just last Sunday, one noisemaker had chosen a quiet period during the service, to caterwaul. It went on for what seemed several minutes, until as if on cue, about three-quarters of the congregation turned to deliver a silent message to the perpetrator—and the parents.

But back to the un-savored meal, evidently both howler and parents were at last sated, with food or noise, for they left, taking their two legged siren with them. We took a few minutes to regain our composure, and returned to our meal.

It was then I spotted the lady with the extra long fingernails, dragging a blackboard, being followed by a Scottish bagpiper in full dress. “Well,” I said to my companions, I think it’s time to leave.”

Whazzit?

Whazzit?

Here’s a gadget for you to identify. A virtual double-decker ice cream cone to the winner.

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Life After Death

Not so long ago, my life partner and I returned late from an out-of-town trip. In fact, when we walked through the door, my bleary eyes read: 11:00 P.M., and I was looking forward to a good night‘s sleep in my own bed. I’d plumped up my pillow, selected my pre-snooze read, and settled in.

It was then, that I thought I heard a beep. I prayed it was merely a figment of my imagination, but I heard it again. It was no figment. Now, I had to determine from where it came. The first thought was that it was the answering machine, but found it mute.

The culprit

The culprit

So, it was a smoke alarm, but which one? These devices certainly save lives, but, I’m thinking they must also be responsible for a few suicides. We have a multitude of alarms, and the culprit, I felt, was one of the two in or near the bedroom; one just outside the door in the hallway, the other, just inside.. I stood there in the doorway, waiting for the next beep. The culprit chirped cheerily, as if it were just one more electronic entertainer.

For the life of me, I couldn’t tell which was making the racket, so I opted to check them both—comfortably attired in my under shorts, I found the step-stool, and removed the battery from both units. The chiming continued, and I knew at least one of them needed a battery, I searched for a spare battery, but came up empty handed. As a last resort, I swiped a battery from another device, and placed it first in the bedroom alarm. “Beep“. I moved to the next alarm, and placed it there. “Beep“. Now I was in a quandary, using the process of elimination, I needed to check the alarm in our loft, so, upstairs I went, with battery and step-stool in hand, to try the replacement battery once more. No sooner had I climbed the stool, and replaced the battery, I once more heard a “Beep“ ….from downstairs.

By this time, I’d worked up a good sweat, and incidentally, had I a shotgun handy, I would have executed a few smoke alarms. Instead, I disconnected them, removed the batteries, and placed the alarms on the kitchen counter. When I returned to the bedroom, my wife was sound asleep, oblivious to my torment, but I settled in, grabbed my book, and once more, a “BEEP“. It was one of the moribund alarms in the kitchen, squawking even though they were dead. Out of bed once more, I grabbed the alarms, and took them to the garage. I was tempted to run over them with the car, but, should one of the neighbors spot me in my underwear, laughing fiendishly, and backing over a pair of smoke alarms…..I knew I’d be in trouble.

So, take it from me, after the final nuclear holocaust, the only things still living, will be cockroaches.

And fire alarms..

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Baklava — Back Again

A delicious pan of Baklava....made the easy way.

Last year, I published Sharon’s quick recipe for baklava. It was a hit, and so, I’m running it once more for those who may have a craving for baklava, and don’t want to wait six hours for a batch.

 

For those of you who know of what I speak, there need be no definition of the word, but, for those who may be Baklava illiterate, let it be known, that Baklava is a Mediterranean dessert, made from layers of flaky pastry, nuts, (some use pistachios, others use walnuts or pecans) butter, and honey, or simple syrup.

 

Sharon’s family on both the maternal, and the paternal sides hail from Lebanon. Both sets of grandparents were immigrants to the USA, arriving in the early 1900’s. Cooking in the Middle-Eastern style was the norm, and I, soon after Sharon and I met, was to learn much about the food. Some I liked, and some, I didn’t.

 

But Baklava, well, that I liked. It isn’t called Baklava in Arabic, but “But-lay-wah” (spelled phonetically) . However you spell it, it’s the same.

 

Because of the work involved in preparing Baklava, it usually was prepared for a special occasion, such as Christmas, Easter, or a family get-together. Making the fillo dough was difficult and time consuming. Sharon’s mom and grandmother Katina George would gather a pile of quilts and bedding, place it all on a bed, smoothing them, then taking a clean sheet which they stretched tightly over the mound of bedding. A dusting of flour was next, then, a ball of dough was placed in the middle of the bed, and several ladies (standing around the bed) would each take hold of a side the dough ball, and begin to stretch the dough over the bedding until the dough was drawn it into a thin sheet. They allowed it to dry for a few minutes, folded it, and repeated the process until they had several large sheets.

 

They chopped the nuts, (no food processor) melted the butter, and pre-heated the oven. The fillo sheets were cut to fit what ever sized pan they were using, and then the layering process began. Each individual sheet was covered with melted butter and a nut and sugar mixture. Then, when a suitable thickness was reached, the pastry was cut into a diamond shape, (usually about 2 inches) then baked until the Baklava was a beautiful, golden brown, then removed from the oven, and the simple syrup was added.

 

It was cooled, then served to eager spectators. So, now that you know how it was made then, how would you like to learn the new, easy way to make your own Baklava, and be the hit of any occasion when you are asked to bring a dessert?

 

Sharon’s Easy Baklava

 

 

1 Pkg. Athens fillo dough

1 lb Butter

1 lb Walnuts or Pecan halves

3 Cups Granulated Sugar

1 Cup Water

 

 

The easy part begins with the dough, “Athens Fillo Dough”. It’s waiting for you at the grocery store. Pick up one package for each 9” X 12” pan you wish to make. Inside each package are two 8 ounce portions of fillo sheets.

 

Pre-heat your oven to 325° .

 

Next, make your simple syrup, boiling 1 cup of water, then adding 2 cups of sugar. Stir once, then allow to boil, checking consistency until the syrup, threads when the spoon is raised. Set this aside to cool, or place it in the refrigerator.

 

Using your food processor, or husband, chop a pound of shelled pecan halves or walnuts. You want them finely chopped, but still identifiable as nuts.

 

Take the remaining cup of sugar, and blend with the chopped nuts. Next, melt the butter. Grease your pan, then unfold one half of the dough, (8 oz.) and lay in the pan. Spread the nuts and sugar mixture over the top of the fillo dough. Now, unfold the remaining fillo dough, and lay on top of the sugar/nut mixture. Press the dough firmly into the sides of the pan. Taking a sharp knife, cut the pan into 1-½” inch squares or into diamonds if you prefer. Pour the melted butter over the cut fillo, making sure you don’t miss any spots.

 

Place the pan in the oven for about one hour, or, until it is nicely browned. Remove the pan, and immediately pour your cooled simple syrup over, into, and around the beautiful Baklava. Cool, serve, and prepare to take a bow.

 

So, there it is, hope you have a lot of luck with it, and it wins you much praise.

 

And, if this is your first visit to the “What A Life Blog”, welcome, and please come back. I post new stories every Saturday, and I invite your response. I also include a “gadget” from the past for the readers to identify. So, take a minute, leave a comment, (Your name and email address are never revealed) and revisit every week. Hope to hear from you.

And here is a special gadget for you to ponder. A delicious, gooey, chunk of virtual baklava to the winner!

We still need a correct guess on this little beauty. It's old, but not that old.

We still need a correct guess on this little beauty. It’s old, but not that old.

 

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A Christmas Miracle By Sharon Foley

This is my wife Sharon’s story, about a very special Christmas. Hope you enjoy it.

In the spring of 1946, when I was seven years old, and my sister LaWana eight, our family moved from urban Salt Lake City, to rural Orem, Utah.

My parents, Al and Isabelle Lupus, purchased a run-down 10 acre farm, that included an old house. It wasn’t much of a house, it was a ramshackle place that needed lots of work.

Dad was a carpenter by trade, and immediately set to work to make the place habitable. Before he began, he erected a tent for the family to live in while he gutted the house. So, that summer, our family lived a rather Spartan life. Meals were picnics, and our baths were taken in in an old wash tub in the tent.

It didn’t take long for the campout to lose it’s fun factor. Thankfully, before the first snow fell, Dad moved us into an improvised, combination bedroom and living area in the basement. Thank goodness the furnace was up and running, the bathroom upstairs was finished, and the kitchen was mostly completed too. We almost had a home.

When Thanksgiving rolled around, LaWana and I thought about Christmas. “Where in the world will Mom and Dad put the Christmas tree?” we wondered. We knew there wasn’t room in the basement, and the rest of the house was a construction zone. “Not in the living room, that‘s for sure.” We both agreed, for it was still blocked off, while Dad continued to work on it.

The week before Christmas, Mom and Dad made furtive trips into the blockaded living room. We, pestered them about a Christmas tree, and asked: “How will Santa find us? He doesn’t know we live in the basement.”. We hadn’t seen any mysterious packages enter the house either. “Maybe they’ve forgotten about Christmas.” I whispered to my sister, one wintry night as we snuggled together in our bed.

Christmas Eve arrived, and still no tree, and, apparently no gifts. We went to bed that night, disappointed, not knowing what to expect the next morning. Both of us had asked for dolls and velvet dresses. Gifts we had hoped we’d find under the tree….but, we knew there was no tree, and drifted off to sleep.

Early Christmas morning, Dad and Mom woke us, and Dad gathered us up in his arms, and carried us upstairs, and into the renovated living room. “Surprise!” They exclaimed. There in the middle of the room was the most beautiful Christmas tree we’d ever seen. “Santa did find us! Santa did find us!”, we squealed, and danced around the glowing tree. Displayed underneath were those beautiful dolls and the velvet dresses we’d dreamt about. “It’s a miracle!” we said, hugging each other, “It‘s a Christmas miracle!”.

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No Turkey

November of 1961 was much the same as it’s past two predecessors, a few snow flurries, a few sunny days, and either a new baby, or one on the way. You see, Sharon and I had been married just three years, and hadn’t quite figured out how to get through a year without a new addition to the family.

What? Turkey day and no turkey?

What? Turkey day and no turkey?

1961 was no exception. When Thanksgiving rolled around, we did as was the norm for us, and that was to make ready to drive the 40 miles to Salt Lake City, to spend the day with Sharon’s extended family. It was quite an extension. A multitude of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and possibly a few unidentified who could smell the turkey, and stopped by for a free meal.

Sharon’s doctor had told her that the baby was due sometime during the latter part of November, or the first of December. Well, the baby was running the show, and he, (Mike Jr.) must have sensed his first chance at a good meal, made his intentions known early on Thanksgiving morning. Sharon phoned her mother around seven o’clock, and let her know that she’d gone into labor. This was not what her parents wanted to hear; they were ready to load up their car with kids and their contribution to the Thanksgiving banquet, and head to Salt Lake City, not spend the day in a hospital waiting room.

Let me preface the rest of the story by mentioning that I wasn’t the favorite son-in-law, I was still attempting to convince the elders that I was a worthwhile addition to the family, but, to their way of thinking, about all I was doing was making sure their daughter was producing more babies. After all, three in three years was just about enough for anyone—as far as they were concerned.

So, with this in mind, Sharon’s parents, along with a younger sister, were at our door within a half-hour. My father-in-law was a no nonsense kind of guy, and wasn’t about to waste his time making pleasantries with me. No, he headed for the bedroom, gathered his daughter in his arms, and without a word, he, Sharon, and my mother-in-law were out the door, and loaded in the car, and headed to the hospital. “What’s wrong with this picture?” I had to ask myself. Thankfully, Sharon’s sister was left behind to watch the previous two years production of Foley progeny.

I arrived at the hospital, and completed the paperwork for Sharon’s admittance. By the time I found the maternity waiting room, Sharon had been prepped, and was ready to go to the delivery room. They trundled her down the hall, and paused for a minute for me to give her a kiss, before she disappeared behind closed doors. I was not permitted to watch the birth, so, I busied myself in the waiting area, watching Macy’s parade, and some pre-bowl game hoopla. I didn’t have long to wait, for Sharon had had considerable practice delivering babies, and within an hour, she was out those same doors, this time accompanied by baby Mike.

As I remember, Sharon’s folks stayed just long enough to see the new baby—it was nothing new to them—they’d waited for the other arrivals the previous two years, and this time, they didn’t want to miss a good meal.

Later that day, in Sharon’s hospital room, we shared a turkey dinner. We toasted Mike’s arrival with 7-Up, and made a promise that we kept; there would be no new additions to the Foley family during the next year.

Mike‘s arrival made the Thanksgiving of 1961 one of the most memorable of all.

I hope your Thanksgiving is as blessed as ours was in 1961.

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Courtesy — not so common

Yesterday, I visited a club store…the largest in Loveland. I call our local outlet, the “$100 Dollar Store“, for it seems impossible for my wife and I to visit, without spending at least a hundred bucks. Today was the rare exception, for I picked up only one, small, handheld item. All of the open check stands were packed with carts loaded to the max. I searched out the shortest line, and situated myself behind a young man, with, as you would expect, a cart loaded to capacity.

This may have been the cart in front of me....but I can't spot the driver.

This may have been the cart in front of me….but I can’t spot the driver.

He hadn’t yet started piling his purchases on the conveyor, and he looked at me, noted the single item in my hand, and then began unloading the contents of his cart. He happily ignored my one item purchase.

A while back, I found myself in line with a nearly full grocery cart, and the woman behind me was pushing a cart holding just three or four items. “Go ahead,” I told her, “I’m not in a hurry.” She protested, but we soon traded places, and she quickly finished her purchase. She turned, and thanked me again.

I know she was happy, and I felt good too. But what about yesterday’s young shopper. Had his parents never attempted to school him in good manners? I wonder. My mother was the etiquette instructor in our family, and she did her best to impart what she felt were good manners to us. Polite was right.

Among other things, she also felt it was important, for me, as a male, to hold a door for others, and to relinquish my seat on a bus or in a waiting room, to female or elderly patrons. I still do. Remember the last time you took the shuttle at DIA? I’m reasonably sure that you witnessed no such display of courtesy. If an elderly passenger, using a walker, dared attempt to board, he/she would probably be trampled by their fellow travelers. In today’s enlightened age, even opening a door for a female companion can be considered an insult. I don’t know, possibly old geezers like me are just impediments to a good life. I can almost hear the unspoken: “Get out of my way old man, move it!”

So, next time you’re in a supermarket line with a loaded cart, and you take notice of the person in back of you pushing a cart with just a couple of items, be a hero, let them take your place in line, I promise, you’ll both feel a lot better for it.

This doesn’t apply if the shopper pulls out her coupon wallet.

Here’s a gizmo for you to identify…a large slice of virtual apple pie to the winner

The gadget.

The gadget.

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Houseguests

How do you know when you’ve overstayed your welcome? Possibly one indication would be if you find your luggage packed, and placed on the curb, ready for your departure—- whether you’re ready or not.

We spent the holidays with our daughters in Texas. I soon noticed that nothing is as it was in our home in Loveland. For instance; when I got up at three in the morning, and headed for the bathroom, I quickly found that the linen closet was where the bathroom should be. Stubbed toes are a frequent consequence when searching for a strange bathroom in the dark.

Dirty clothes are another problem. We didn’t want our hosts to have to do our laundry, but where do you store the discards until you can borrow the clothes washer for a few minutes? Within a couple of days the guest room resembled one of our son’s bedrooms eons ago when they were teens. The room smelled better, but the clutter was still there.

Our possessions were in one suitcase or another. When I asked my wife where a specific a article of clothing was, she said that it was “in the suitcase”. It would help if she were a little more specific; I.E. Give a size, or color of the bag, for instance. Suitcase living is not what one would consider ideal.

All the fish needs is a pair of pajamas.

All the fish needs is a pair of pajamas.

Benjamin Franklin said: “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” I hope that when I’m a guest at one of my offspring’s homes, that they (the offspring) can ignore the smell, and tolerate me for just another day or two. A little strategically applied air freshener might help.

A few years ago, we hosted a couple who spent most of their time regaling us with stories of their mis-treatment by their children; or what they perceived to be mis-treatment. After five or six hours of this, I’m afraid I zoned out. I began to hallucinate. I dreamed I was being held hostage, and was being tortured by a very experienced dungeon master. When I came to, I found I wasn’t hallucinating.

Next on the irritant list were the naps. I nap too, but when I do, I’m usually sprawled in a chair, with my head bobbing and my mouth agape, and possibly a wisp of drool dribbling onto my shirt. Our male guest took napping to a new level. He suited up in his pajamas and went to bed. I guess that’s ok, providing one is planning to be laid up for several months, but for a thirty minute nap? It might be considered excessive. And you’d think one nap would suffice, but several naps, continuing right up to bed time?….well, I’d had it. I was ready to help them pack. Mentally, their bags were on the curb.

Then there were the dietary restrictions. “No tomatoes!“ one of our guests yelped, “they give me gas.“. My wife is a patient soul, and she took it in stride, leaving out, or adding what our guests demanded. “I love tomatoes.” I said, but my salad was served without. They stayed for only 36 hours. Thirty-six hours that to my reckoning, equaled a two- week stay.

If you still plan to visit, I have two suggestions; bring some air freshener, and please, save your jammies for bedtime.

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